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National Statistics
Publication, Part of

National Child Measurement Programme - England, 2016-17

Official statistics, National statistics
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
Geographical Granularity:
Regions, Local Authorities
Date Range:
01 Sep 2016 to 31 Aug 2017


This report presents findings from the Government's National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) for England, 2016-17 school year for children in Reception (aged 4-5 years) and Year 6 (aged 10-11 years) in state schools.

The attachments below include a summary report showing key findings in slides format, excel tables showing prevalence of 'underweight', 'healthy weight', 'overweight', 'obese' and 'overweight and obese combined' children, technical appendices and a data quality statement. An anonymised record level file of the underlying data on which users can carry out their own analysis is included within the zip file which also contains guidance on how to use the data.


England, 2016-17 school year

• Almost a quarter of reception children were overweight including obese. In year 6 it was over a third.
• The prevalence of obesity has increased since 2015/16 for reception but remained similar in year 6.
• For reception it increased from 9.3 per cent to 9.6 per cent and for year 6 it remained fairly stable at 20.0 per cent in 2016/171 .
• Over a longer time period, obesity prevalence is lower for reception year compared to 2006/07, but it is higher for year 6 compared to 2009/102 .
• Obesity prevalence was higher for boys than girls in both age groups.
• Obesity prevalence for children living in the most deprived areas was more than double that of those living in the least deprived areas for both reception and year 6.
• The deprivation gap as measured by the differences in obesity prevalence between the most and least deprived areas has increased over time. It has increased more for boys than girls in year 6.
• Obesity prevalence varied by local authority. For reception this ranged from 4.8 per cent in Kingston-upon-Thames to 13.5 per cent in Wolverhampton.
• In year 6 the range was from 11.3 per cent in Rutland, to 29.2 per cent in Barking and Dagenham.

1. The change from 19.8 per cent in 2015/16 is not statistically significant.
2. For year 6 comparisons are not possible with the first years of the NCMP (2006/07 to 2008/09) as obesity prevalence was an underestimate 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. 


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Last edited: 19 January 2022 3:29 pm