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National Statistics
Publication, Part of

National Child Measurement Programme, Results from the 2007-2008 school year

Official statistics, National statistics
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
Geographical Granularity:
Regions, Local Authorities
Date Range:
01 Sep 2007 to 31 Aug 2008


This report summarises the key findings from the Government's National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) 2007/08. The report provides high level analysis of the prevalence of "underweight", "healthy weight", "overweight" and "obese" children, in Reception (aged 4-5 years) and Year 6 (aged 10-11 years), measured in the school year 2007/08. Where possible, comparisons have also been made with the 2006/07 NCMP results.

When interpreting the results, it is important to consider the possible effects of participation rate on prevalence rates.

Since the participation rate was less than 100 per cent, data will be missing for certain children. If these missing data were atypical, results could be biased For example, if children with higher BMI scores opted out of being measured, overweight and obese prevalence would be underestimated.


  • In total, 973,073 valid measurements were received for children, in England, in Reception and Year 6 - approximately 88% of those eligible. This represents an increased participation rate of eight percentage points compared with the 2006/07 programme, when the corresponding rate was 80%.
  • In Reception, almost one in four of the children measured was either overweight or obese. In Year 6, this rate was nearly one in three.
  • The percentage of children who are obese is almost twice as high in Year 6 than in Reception.
  • The percentage of children who are overweight is only slightly higher in Year 6 than in Reception.
  • The overall percentage of children who are underweight is similar for both years.
  • Differences between boys and girls were significant but very small for both years.

The main findings when results from 2006/07 and 2007/08 are compared are:

  • In Reception, when comparing results for 2006/07 and 2007/08, there is little or no difference in the prevalence of underweight, overweight and obese children.

  • In Year 6, there was no significant difference in the prevalence of underweight, overweight and obese children in 2006/07 and 2007/08. The percentage of obese children showed an apparent increase of 0.8 percentage points between 2006/07 and 2007/08 however, much or all of this increase is likely to be due to the increased participation rate for Year 6 between the two years.

  • Obesity prevalence is significantly higher than the national average in the North East, West Midlands and London SHAs for both age-groups as well as North West SHA for Reception children and Yorkshire and Humber SHA for Year 6 children.

  • Obesity prevalence is significantly below the national average in the South East Coast, South Central, South West and East Midlands SHAs for children in both school years, as well as for Year 6 children in the East of England SHA.

  • The 2007/08 SHA obesity patterns are similar to those observed in the 2006/07 NCMP.

  • Obesity prevalence is significantly higher in urban areas than in rural areas, as was the case in NCMP 2006/07.

  • As in the 2006/07 NCMP findings, a strong positive relationship exists between deprivation and obesity prevalence for children in Reception and Year 6.

View our national, SHA and PCT level data tables here: NCMP 2007/08 online database

Look up results for your area in our online database:



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Last edited: 2 November 2018 1:46 pm