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National Child Measurement Programme - England, 2015-16

Publication date: 09:30 November 03, 2016


This report summarises the key findings from the Government's National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) for England, 2015-16 school year. It provides high-level analysis of the prevalence of 'underweight', 'healthy weight', 'overweight', 'obese' and 'overweight and obese combined' children, in Reception (aged 4-5 years) and Year 6 (aged 10-11 years), measured in state schools in England in the school year 2015-16.

Key Facts

England, 2015-16 school year

  • Over a fifth of reception children were overweight or obese. In year 6 it was over a third.
  • The prevalence of obesity has increased since 2014/15 in both reception and year 6.
  • In reception it increased to 9.3 per cent from 9.1 per cent, and in year 6 to 19.8 per cent from 19.1 per cent.
  • In reception obesity prevalence was lower than in 2006/07. In year 6 obesity prevalence was higher than in 2006/07 but the early years of the NCMP are known to be an underestimate for obesity prevalence for this older year group.1
  • Obesity prevalence was higher for boys than girls in both age groups.
  • Obesity prevalence for children living in the most deprived areas in both age groups was more than double that of those living in the least deprived areas.
  • The deprivation gap as measured by the differences in obesity prevalence between the most and least deprived areas has increased over time.
  • Obesity prevalence varied by local authority. For reception this ranged from 5.1 per cent in Richmond upon Thames to 14.7 per cent in Middlesbrough.
  • In year 6 the range was from 11.0 per cent in Richmond upon Thames, to 28.5 per cent in Barking and Dagenham.
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1 It is likely that year 6 obesity prevalence in the first years of the NCMP (2006/07 to 2008/09) were underestimates due to low participation. This, and the impact of other improvements in data quality, should be considered when making comparisons over time. More details in annex B.


Date Range: 01 September 2015 to 31 August 2016
Geographical coverage: England
Geographical granularity: Local Authorities, Regions

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