Jersey’s child obesity levels revealed

- Advertisement -

And the proportion of children within this age group classed as being over a healthy weight has remained about the same since 2011.

According to the data there is a disparity between children living in rural parishes and urban areas, with 35 per cent of Year 6 pupils living in the latter described as being overweight or obese. This compares to 25 per cent in rural areas.

Children attending non-fee-paying schools are also less likely to be a healthy weight, with 22% of four-to-five-year-olds and 35% of ten-to-11-year-olds classed as overweight or obese. In comparison, 15% of Reception-class-aged children and 24% of Year 6 pupils at fee-paying schools fall into this category.

The figures were released as part of the Jersey Child Measurement Programme 2017/2018, which was drawn up by Statistics Jersey.

Reception-aged children had their heights and weights measured to calculate their Body Mass Index – which classifies if they are underweight, a healthy weight, overweight, obese or severely obese – since 1995.

The programme was extended during the 2011/12 academic year to Year 6 pupils.

A total of 2,034 children – 94 per cent of eligible children – across Reception and Year 6 had their BMIs calculated during the latest measurement programme.

According to the report, one in five Reception-age children and about one in three Year 6 pupils were overweight or obese.

The figures show that the obesity prevalence amongst Jersey’s Reception children and Year 6 pupils was similar to the English average.

David Kennedy, general manager for Jersey Sport, said that the figures were ‘not surprising’.

‘Most importantly at some point we need to acknowledge that, for a long time, we have had an unacceptable level of overweight and obese children in Jersey. It is a problem that requires a collaborative approach.

‘Collectively all people involved in the health of young people, starting with parents and guardians, need to work with the child to ensure that they have the right levels of physical
activity and healthy lif style.’

Mr Kennedy said that for a ‘long time’ there had been investment in the health of young people, but that ‘we now need to really focus on how that investment is best used’.

He added: ‘We need to look at the health of a young person holistically, ensure there is a correct environment inside and outside of school to make sure young people can access the right food, the right facilities and the correct opportunities to take part in physical activity.’

The Public Health Department was unavailable for comment.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.