One third of Clevedon children leave primary school overweight
PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 January 2019 | UPDATED: 12:11 29 January 2019
Alarming figures reveal almost 30 per cent of year six children in Clevedon are overweight, with the number continuing to rise.
Almost a third of 10 and 11-year-olds in the town are heavier than they should be; a six per cent rise over the past five years.
The town has the second-highest rate in the district after Weston, where the number fell by two per cent during the same period.
Similarly, the amount of overweight children dropped by three per cent in Portishead and four per cent in Nailsea.
Obesity levels have also climbed in Clevedon, with 16 per cent of year six children categorised as obese – a three per cent rise since 2014.
This increase is reflected across the UK, with one in three children leaving primary school categorised as either obese or overweight.
Caroline Cerny, alliance lead at the Obesity Health Alliance, blames adverts for junk food on TV, online and in supermarkets for the shocking statistics.
She said: “These figures are concerning as we know that children with obesity are more likely to have obesity as adults, putting them at risk of diseases like type two diabetes, heart and liver disease and cancer.
“That is why we want to see restrictions on junk food marketing before the 9pm watershed on TV, with similar restrictions applied online.
“We’re also callling for action on the promotion of unhealthy products in shops and industry going further to reduce the amount of sugar in processed foods – all measures which can help families make healthy choices.”
Schools in the town have responded by investing heavily in the health, quality and affordablity of their school meals.
Clevedon School has invested £100,000 in improving its offering, sourcing ingredients from local farms and offering healthy choices for children with dietary restrictions.
Headteacher Jim Smith said: “We want students to have some of the best and healthiest food possible.
“We educate students about the benefits of healthy living and we offer tasty, healthy food and drink to help them make positive choices.
“We offer fruit, vegetables and proper meals like roast dinners, with vegetarian options.
“We are also looking to create one of the country’s first school vegan bars – so all of our pupils can enjoy healthy school meals.”