Skip to main content
National Statistics
Publication, Part of

National Child Measurement Programme - England, 2008-2009, School year

Official statistics, National statistics
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
Geographical Granularity:
Regions, Local Authorities
Date Range:
01 Sep 2008 to 31 Aug 2009



During the final production stage of the National Child Measurement Programme: England, 2008/09 school year released on Thursday 10 December 2009 a technical issue occurred with Table 2: Prevalence of underweight, healthy weight, overweight and obese children, with associated 95 per cent confidence intervals, by PCT and SHA, England, 2008/09.
Figures about the percentage of the child population measured per trust, for both reception and year six children were incorrect, along with upper 95 per cent confidence intervals relating to Year 6 obese children.
Figures relating to the proportion of children in each trust who are underweight, a healthy weight, overweight or obese were not affected. National data and all other tables were also unaffected by this issue.
These have now been corrected in both the Annex to the main report and the accompanying excel tables. At the same time some further clarifications have been made to footnotes for Table 5 to clarify that this is based on the postcode of the school the child attended, and to rectify a problem with the Data Quality report which had resulted in the omission of certain Primary Care Trusts.
The NHS Information Centre apologises for any inconvenience caused.

Additionally, as a result of detailed validations carried out during production of the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) national dataset for Public Health Observatories (PHOs) in January 2011, a local issue affecting the published prevalence rates in Redbridge Primary Care Trust (PCT) (5NA) and Redbridge Local Authority (LA) (00BC) in 2008/09 and 2009/10 has been detected.
Due to the localised and relatively minor nature of the issue, neither the affected NCMP reports nor the accompanying Excel tables available on the website will be amended as a result of this issue. The underlying NCMP datasets made available for further analysis via PHOs, the National Obesity Observatory and UK Data Archive have been amended and so will differ slightly from published data.
Please see the NCMP Issue Notification document available for download above for further information.


This report summarises the key findings from the Government's National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) for England, 2008/09 school year. 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 state schools in England in the school year 2008/09. The report contains comparisons with 2007/08 and where appropriate comparisons have also been made with 2006/07 results.
This report presents the headline findings for the 2008/09 NCMP. The National Obesity Observatory (NOO) will produce additional analysis in 2010 (expected publication date 30 April 2010), and the anonymised national dataset will be made available to Public Health Observatories (PHOs) to allow regional and local analysis of the data. In addition, NOO will also be presenting NCMP data in an e-Atlas - an interactive mapping tool that enables the user to compare a range of indicators and examine correlations and allows regional and national comparisons.
'Look up past and present NCMP results in the data visualisation tool.


  • In Reception, more than one in five (22.8 per cent) of the children measured were either overweight or obese. In Year 6, this rate was nearly one in three (32.6 per cent).
  • The percentage of obese children in Year 6 (18.3 per cent) is nearly double than that in Reception (9.6 per cent).
  • The percentage of overweight children is higher in Year 6 (14.3 per cent) than in Reception (13.2 per cent).
  • The overall prevalence of underweight children is similar for both age groups (approx 1 per cent). There were no significant differences in underweight prevalence between boys and girls in either age group.
  • In Reception, the proportions of underweight (1.0 per cent), overweight (13.2 per cent) and obese children (9.6 per cent) in 2008/09 were similar to those in 2007/08 where the corresponding proportions were (1.3 per cent, 13.0 per cent, and 9.6 per cent). None of the changes were significant.
  • In Year 6, the proportions of overweight (14.3 per cent) and obese (18.3 per cent) children were the same in 2007/08 and 2008/09. The percentage of underweight children was similar in 2008/09 (1.3 per cent) and 2007/08 (1.4 per cent).
  • Between 2007/08 and 2008/09 there were no significant changes in the prevalence rates for underweight, overweight, or obese children for both age groups. There were also no significant changes when comparing 2006/07 and 2008/09; all or some of the apparent difference of 0.8 percentage points in the proportion of obese children between 2006/07 and 2008/09 is estimated to be due to the higher participation rate for Year 6 in the later year's programme (as indicated by the expanded confidence interval).


Related Links

Last edited: 27 August 2020 11:51 am