Child obesity rates in Newham the third highest in London

Bexley has one of the highest levels of child obesity in London Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Images

Bexley has one of the highest levels of child obesity in London Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Images - Credit: PA WIRE

Child obesity rates in Newham are the third highest in the capital, a new survey reveals.

One in four (27.6 per cent) of Year 6 pupils in the borough are considered obese, according to an NHS report made public yesterday (Tuesday).

The data found children aged between 10 and 11 years old in Newham are more than twice as likely to be obese than the borough with the lowest figure, Richmond upon Thames (12.6pc).

Public Health England regional director Yvonne Doyle said the capital’s “obesity emergency” had become “a normal response

to an abnormal environment”.

“London has a worse record on childhood obesity than most other peer global cities such as New York, Paris and Madrid,” she said.

“Over a third of London’s children are overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school.”

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A total of 2,765 Londoners took part in the survey, 205 of whom were from Newham.

The figures show one in eight Reception-age children between four and five years old are obese, beaten only by Barking and Dagenham (13.9pc) and Greenwich (13pc).

More than half of Londoners surveyed saw a flood of cheap, unhealthy food and drinks as the main factor leading kids away from healthy lives.

Two fifths thought there were too many fast food shops in their area, with a third stating that safety concerns about children meant youngsters did not receive enough exercise.

The findings followed similar results in the British Attitudes to Obesity Survey, where 91pc of respondents felt fast food was too easily available.

But a strong appetite existed for tackling childhood obesity, the NHS survey concluded, with 86pc of Londoners believing the issue should be a “top or high priority”.

Four fifths (81pc) said parks and green spaces were the most effective way to keep kids active, followed by leisure facilities (58pc), sport and youth clubs (41pc) and cycle lanes (23pc).

Just two per cent of respondents thought their children were “well supported” with no action needed.

Newham Council did not respond to a request for comment.

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