Council to take action against growing childhood obesity

PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 November 2018

Bexley faces a rising childhood obesity problem as new figures show 40 per cent of Year 6 students are overweight. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Images

Bexley faces a rising childhood obesity problem as new figures show 40 per cent of Year 6 students are overweight. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Images

PA/Press Association Images

Bexley faces a rising childhood obesity problem as new figures show 40 per cent of Year 6 students are overweight.

The borough is the second worst in London for 10 and 11-year-olds being obese, a Bexley Council meeting was told.

Specialists say there is a pattern between areas of high deprivation and unhealthy lifestyles.

An obesity prevention strategy is being developed to try and tackle the rising levels of overweight younger people.

Davina Springer, interim public health specialist, said: “This strategy is to halt the rise of excess weight in the borough.

“We aim to reduce the rate of excess weight of children in Year 6 by a minimum of two per cent over five years.

“For adults we want to reduce the weight by 10 per cent. We want to deliver in the commitments made by the growth strategy to create healthy places for all.”

According to new data, three in 10 reception students are overweight or obese, a figure which rises to four in 10 by the end of Year 6.

The levels of childhood obesity have risen steadily in Bexley since 2008, with six in 10 people now obese by the time they turn 18.

Some of the highest rates are in the north of the borough and in Cray Meadows.

Areas in the west of the borough, such as in East Wickham, are also experiencing rising rates.

A lack of physical activity and a reliance on electronic devices are just some of the reasons behind the problem.

Bexley is also a “car-reliant” borough due to its limited public transport, the meeting was told.

Dr Anjan Ghosh, director of public health, said: “There are other things we need to explore more other than just cars. There is a strong correlation between childhood obesity and deprivation.

“So most of the high rates of obesity are in the north, you’d think in the north there would be lots of fast food outlets but there aren’t.

“There are a lot of overweight children, that’s reality. It needs to be studied more – it’s not easy to understand.”

The new strategy based around prevention and promoting lifestyle changes is currently being drafted before a final sign off in the future.

Stuart Rowbotham, the council’s director of health and wellbeing, said: “We need to get a hold of this issue. Weight issues are linked to serious long-term conditions, and those conditions drive social care costs.

“There has to be something to get the message across about personal responsibility.”

Bexley Council is set to invest £1.3m in prevention strategies.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Bexley Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Bexley Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Bexley Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Bexley news

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

A large development in Erith has taken home a top award for regeneration.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Since Bexley Council launched its anti-litter campaign earlier this year, 1,000 Bexley residents have now made the commitment to pick up at least one piece of plastic litter a week.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Our reporter Liam Coleman met with the big man before a hectic few weeks.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Crossrail, London’s new east to west railway service, may be delayed even further and could require a £2billion funding boost, Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed.

Monday, December 10, 2018

A faulty filtation system in a fish tank is believed to have caused a fire at a care home in Thamesmead on Sunday (December 9).

Friday, December 7, 2018

Rail travellers are now benefiting from recently completed work to improve access to Erith Station and to enhance the forecourt and station building.

A Bexley man who was suspected in the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence has admitted being a kingpin in a £4 million drugs plot.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

A burglar who stole three cars from homes in Dartford and Bexley has been sentenced to four years imprisonment.

Most read news

Digital Edition

Read the Bexley Times e-edition today

Newsletter Sign Up

Bexley Times twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Family Notices 24