Richmond records low obesity rates as national figures continue to rise


The borough has worked hard to battle the bulge.


By Ellie Pipe

Richmond children are bucking the trend in obesity riddled Britain, with some of the country’s lowest weight problem rates.

Of the 92% of Richmond children who participated in the National Child Measurement Programme, 26% of those in year 6 and 16% of reception-aged children are classified as having a weight problem.

Nationally, a third of year 6 children in England are obese or overweight and 22% of those in reception classes, according to a recent study by Public Health England.

The National Obesity Forum stated yesterday that Britain is fast approaching crisis point, stating previous predictions had underestimated the scale of the problem.

Richmond’s Health and Children’s Services Cabinet Member, Cllr Christine Percival attributed the borough’s low obesity rates to good health and educational standards.

“Children and young people in Richmond upon Thames are given the very best start in life,” she said.

“However we will not become complacent following the results of the study and we will continue to do everything we can to lower obesity levels of children and young people.”

Private doctor’s service, Richmond Practice, has a primary interest in family care and managing partner Johanna Renz believes that the array of sports facilities available in and around Richmond contribute to residents’ health and happiness.

“Being healthy is about being active and eating the right things,” said Ms Renz.

“Here in Richmond we have a lot of great sports facilities, there’s also Richmond Park and the council helps by promoting cycling and encouraging people to use the car less.”

The National Obesity Forum report entitled ‘State of the Nation’s Waistline,’ was published today to coincide with Obesity Awareness Week.

The report’s recommendations include the need for hard hitting government campaigns, a more active role for GPs in weight management and greater promotion of physical activity outside of educational settings.

Today’s report from the National Obesity Forum follows The Foresight Report (2007) which concluded that half the UK population could be obese by 2050 at a cost of £50 billion per year.

It goes on to suggest that these conclusions could be optimistic and might well be exceeded by 2050.

Quoted in the report, Professor Sir Michael Marmot said: “We are failing too many of our children, women and young people on a grand scale. Health inequality, arising from social and economic inequalities, are socially unjust, unnecessary and unavoidable.”

Photo courtesy of peteaylward, with thanks.

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