Age, sex and time series
Obesity prevalence (including severe obesity) was more than twice as high in year 6 (20.2% which equates to 121,409 children) compared to reception (9.7%, 57,869 children).
Severe obesity prevalence was higher in year 6 (4.4%) compared to reception (2.4%).
The proportion of underweight children was higher in year 6 (1.4%) than in reception (1.0%).
Around three quarters of reception children were healthy weight (76.5%). In year 6 it was around two thirds (64.3%).
Please note that the displayed percentages sum to over 100% because the obese percentage of 9.7% includes the severely obese percentage of 2.4%.
Please note that the displayed percentages sum to over 100% because the obese percentage of 20.2% includes the severely obese percentage of 4.4%.
The difference in obesity prevalence between boys and girls was larger in year 6 than reception.
Underweight prevalence was higher for boys in reception but higher for girls in year 6.
In reception, 75.8% of boys were healthy weight compared to 77.2% of girls. In year 6, 62.1% of boys were healthy weight compared to 66.6% of girls.
Note: The proportion of children in the healthy weight category is not shown as it would lengthen the scale making the differences for the other categories harder to see.
For more information: Table 1a National Child Measurement Programme, England, 2018/19 school year.
The prevalence of obesity has increased in reception from 9.5% in 2017/18 to 9.7% in 2018/19. For year 6 it remained similar at 20.2% in 2018/19 (the change from 20.1% in 2017/18 is not statistically significant).
The prevalence of severe obesity has increased in year 6 from 4.2% in 2017/18 to 4.4% in 2018/19. For reception it remained similar at 2.4% in 2018/19.
Over a longer time period, obesity prevalence is lower for reception compared to 2006/07 and higher for year 6 compared to 2009/10. Note: for year 6, comparisons are not possible with the first years of the NCMP (2006/07 to 2008/09) as low participation levels led to underestimation of obesity prevalence. This, and the impact of other improvements in data quality, should be considered when making comparisons over time. Further information is available in annex B.
Severe obesity prevalence is similar for reception but higher for year 6 over the same time periods.
For more information: Table 1b National Child Measurement Programme, England, 2018/19 school year.