Overweight and obese children are more likely to become obese adults, and have a higher risk of mortality, disability and morbidity in adulthood. Metabolic changes such as raised blood pressure and cholesterol may be seen in obese children and teenagers. Childhood obesity is also linked to psychological problems such as low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression, which are often seen by children themselves as the most serious effects.
Data are collected through the National Child Measurement Programme, with pupils aged 4-5 years (reception) and 10-11 years (year 6). This collects data from state-maintained schools, and excludes private and special schools. West Sussex County Council is responsible for the collection of measurements from children who attend schools in West Sussex, this will include children who live outside the county but who attend schools within the county border. It does not collect or record data on children who are resident in West Sussex but who attend school outside the county.
The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) remains voluntary but coverage rates in West Sussex are good. Across England, 96% of children in reception and 94% of children in year 6 were measured in 2014/15. In West Sussex, participation rates were slightly lower; 90% of children in reception and 91% of children in year 6 were measured in 2014/15. Information on children is aggregated to various geographies, including CCG area. Information relates to the home postcode of the pupils.
Note. Children are classified as obese using the population monitoring definitions of weight status and using the following UK90 population thresholds.
- Underweight: <= 2nd centile
- Healthy weight: > 2 to < 85th centile
- Overweight: >= 85th centile
- Obese: >= 95th centile
These thresholds are lower than the thresholds used in the definition of clinical overweight and obesity; this is to capture those children with a weight problem and those at risk of developing a weight problem (i.e. those children who may be on the border line of the clinical definition). This helps ensure that adequate services are planned and delivered for the whole population.
Source: National Obesity Observatory, PHE.
Childhood Obesity – Reception
The figure below shows the prevalence of obesity in reception age children in Crawley. The data at local authority level have wide confidence intervals reflecting the small number of pupils measured at this geography. In West Sussex, the prevalence of obesity for children in reception has been significantly below that of England for a number of years, however considerable variation does exist at a local level.
The map below shows the prevalence of 4-5 year olds measured as obese (population definition) in Middle Super Output Areas (MSOAs) in Crawley during 2014/15 academic year. Note that the number of children measured by MSOA does vary, which may mean that the estimates of obesity at small area level are less robust and can change considerably year on year. Note that in Crawley, there appears to be a East-to-West divide.
Prevalence of 4-5 year olds measured as obese (population definition) by resident middle-super output area (2014/15)
Childhood Obesity – Year 6
The figure below shows the prevalence of obesity for children in Year 6 in Crawley. As above, the data at local authority level have wide confidence intervals reflecting the smaller number of children measured in each area. In West Sussex, the prevalence of obesity for children in Year 6 has been significantly below that of England for a number of years, although there is little difference with the South East region.
The map below shows the prevalence of children in year 6 who were measured as obese (population definition in Middle Super Output Areas (MSOAs) in Crawley during 2014/15. Estimates of obesity prevalence at MSOA level can fluctuate considerably year on year due to variations in the number of resident children by MSOA, therefore the data in the map should be taken with a degree of caution.
Prevalence of 10-11 year olds measured as obese (population definition) by resident middle-super output area (2014/15)