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Office for Health Improvement and Disparities. Childhood obesity: applying All Our Health. 2022. (accessed 9 December 2022)

Obesity: Latest NCMP data shows strong link with deprivation

02 December 2022
Volume 3 · Issue 6


A new report by NHS Digital shows that the number of young children who are overweight or obese is still rising. The data also shows a strong link between obesity and deprivation.

Increasing numbers of young children in England are overweight or obese, and the prevalence is twice as high in the most deprived areas as more affluent places, according to an alarming new report.

The study by NHS Digital (2022), based on information taken from the National Child Measurement Programme for 2021-22, found that 13.6% of reception-aged children in areas of social deprivation were obese, compared with 6.2% in the least deprived areas. When it came to ‘severe obesity’ the figures were 4.5% and 1.3% respectively.

This disparity is also evident in Year 6 pupils with 31.3% of the age group living with obesity in deprived areas, compared with 13.5% in better-off areas. Overall, 9.4% of this cohort were severely obese – more than four times higher than children living in well-off areas, on 2.1%.

The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) – overseen by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities and analysed and reported by NHS Digital – measures the height and weight of children in England annually. It provides data on the number of children in reception and Year 6 who are underweight, healthy weight, overweight, living with obesity or living with severe obesity.

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