Almost one in four Redbridge children now classed as obese
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
The number of overweight children in Redbridge is rising with almost one in four classed as obese.
A report for Redbridge Council’s Working Groups Scrutiny Committee has revealed that 23.2 per cent of Redbridge children are classed as obese, above the national average of 19.2pc.
The report looks at findings from the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP), which weighed 10 and 11-year-olds across the country to determine the figures.
The report also highlights an obesity problem earlier on with 11.5pc of Redbridge reception school children classed as obese, compared to the national average of 9.5pc.
Health and Wellbeing cabinet member Cllr Wes Streeting said: “It’s our duty is to do what we can through health interventions to help change people’s lifestyles. The link between childhood obesity and poverty is something we want to tackle too.
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“My message is for parents to take childhood obesity seriously and we want to help people understand the benefits of eating healthily and exercising regularly.”
The council’s Physical Activity and Health Scrutiny Working Group revealed that about 30pc of the borough was “inactive” and that unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles were a “significant problem” in the borough’s obesity battle.
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Cllr Streeting said: “There’s a lot of complex reasons for Redbridge’s obesity problem - this borough is an area of mixed affluence and one of the things that concerns me most is that life chances can depend on where people live in the borough, and that isn’t right.
“Education is really important and I think schools have a really important role to play - in terms teaching children what a healthy lifestyle looks like.”
Despite the obesity problem, the borough’s life expectancy rates are above the national average, with Redbridge men and women living on average for 80.3 years and 84 years respectively. The national averages are 79.2 years for men and 83 years for women.
The Health Scrutiny Committee is due to discuss how to make Redbridge healthier at a meeting in November.