Calne shows huge rise in obese pupils
THE number of obese children at primary schools in Calne has increased, according to figures from Wiltshire Council.
The results of the national child measurement programme for 2012/13 showed Calne had one of the highest percentage rise in children overweight or obese in Reception (aged four and five), up 26 per cent, from 52 to 62.
In Year 6 (10 and 11), the number of overweight or obese children went up by three, to 65.
Other towns to experience a rise in Reception year children were in Chippenham (up by four to 93), Malmesbury (up three to 38), Amesbury, Melksham, Tidworth and Wilton.
Reduced levels of obesity in Reception included Devizes (down seven to 59), Marlborough (down seven to 27) and Corsham (down four to 40.) Pewsey stayed the same, with 19 pupils.
In Year 6, the highest rises in obesity were in Trowbridge, Warminster, Wilton and Mere.
Reduced obesity levels included Chippenham (down 19 to 134), Corsham (down seven to 47), Devizes (down ten to 90), Malmesbury (down 15 to 33), Marlborough (down 14 to 34), and Pewsey (down eight to 26.) More than 9,000 Wiltshire children were measured and overall the level of obesity was found to be below the national average.
For Reception, one-in-five children was overweight or obese; a rate of 21.3 per cent compared with 22.2 per cent in England.
For Year 6, one-in-three was overweight or obese; a rate of 29.4 per cent, compared with the 33.3 per cent England average.
The figures were presented to Wiltshire Council’s Health Select Committee on March 11.
John Goodall, of the public health department, said: “We are doing well, year by year, but some community areas have increased the number of children who are overweight or obese.
“There is still a problem we need to address. We know high levels of deprivation are consistent with obesity.”
He said the public health team would be involved in initiatives, including early intervention with families of children at risk, and advice about sugar in food and drink would go to schools.
Programmes under way include encouraging healthy eating at children’s centres and a ten-week MEND project of exercise, nutrition and support.