Action pledged as figures reveal one in four Suffolk children measured in programme are overweight or obese

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One in four Suffolk children measured in reception and Year 6 at school are overweight or obese, new figures have revealed.

The statistics from the Nationional Child Measurement Programme show 4,066 out of 15,676 children measured were overweight or obese.

Cllr Mark Ereira-Guyer, leader of the Green and Independent Group for Suffolk County Council, presented the figures to a workshop in Cambridge as a member of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board.

He said: “If they’re carrying too much weight they’re going to have other health risks. What are we going to do to try to encourage them to be healthier?”

Cllr Joanna Spicer, chairman of the county’s Health and Wellbeing Board, said it is working with various organisations to draft an action plan to tackle the issue of overweight children. She said: “We should be able to get our act together to help those children - that’s what the board has set out to do. Within three years we should be measuring less children as overweight. We need to find out what the barriers are - is it they’re not getting enough exercise, is it parents and are we doing enough in schools?

“So many services in the public sector and councils have the opportunity to help children not be overweight.”