Children in Lambeth more likely to be obese than others across the UK


The council is running a campaign in order to prevent rates of obesity increasing further


By Seema Hakim

Lambeth children suffer from a higher percentage of obesity than the national average according to NHS figures.

According to The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP), the number of children aged between 10 and 11 who were overweight or obese between 2011 and 2012 was 38.9%, higher than the national average of 33.9%

The number of children between four and five in Lambeth who were overweight or obese was 22.7%, also above the overall average of 22.6%.

In order to prevent the increasing rates of obesity, Lambeth Council has been running the “Ready, Steady, Go!” program in partnership with the wider obesity prevention campaign, Mind Exercise Nutrition Do It! (MEND).

Project officer Chris Elliot said, “Our main aim is to help families live healthier, happier lives.

“We encourage a lifestyle change that not only encompasses an increase in physical activity but also a clearer understanding of nutrition.”

Altogether, four programs are arranged in a number of locations for two different age groups. Mr Elliot said that the program had been well received by the local community and they are now making an extra effort to get to the ‘hard to reach’ areas by working with local community groups.

According to Mr Elliot, the success of the campaign has been varied so far.

“We have real success stories that have highlighted the benefits of the program and the difference that it can make,” he said.

“There is a clear lack of exposure around obesity and the long term implications that it has, and therefore some people are less willing to commit to a program that they don’t feel they need.”

The concern around obesity also comes in light of the London Assembly recently urging Boris Johnson to review his policies and to step up his commitment to tackling the problem.

Members agreed on a motion which urged the Mayor to take action to implement recommendations from recent reports to reduce levels of obesity across the capital.

Jenny Jones, who represents the Green Party in the London Assembly, proposed the motion.

“With around one in five children in London suffering from obesity we face a ticking time bomb that threatens to limit individual’s lives and overwhelm public services,” she said.

“If the Mayor is serious when he says that a ‘perfect 2012 legacy is a leaner, fitter London free from childhood obesity’, he needs to focus all the tools at his disposal to turn that vision into reality.”

‘Ready Steady Go!’ will be running new courses beginning on the 22nd April. They will run at Lilian Baylis Technology School, La Retraite,Lambeth Academy and Crown Lane Primary School.

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