School children from deprived areas more likely to be obese

The Press Association (via the Mail) is reporting new figures that suggest children from deprived areas in England are significantly more likely to be obese…

The latest statistics for children aged 10 to 11 show that 24.7% from low-income areas are obese, compared to 13.1% in the least deprived locations.

There is a doubling of the overall obesity rate from youngsters aged four to five (9.5%) to the end of primary school (19.1%).

The data were collected during the 2013/14 school year and have been released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

Eustace de Sousa, national lead for children, young people and families at Public Health England (PHE), described the figures – which are for children in state schools – as “deeply concerning”…

In reception class, more than one in five (22.5%) children were classified as overweight or obese, 0.3% higher than in 2012-13.

In year 6, over a third (33.5%) were overweight or obese – a rise of 0.2% from last year…

The local authority with the highest obesity rate for reception aged children was Hackney (14.4%), while Windsor and Maidenhead was the lowest (5.5%).

In year 6, the range was from 26.7% in Southwark to 11.1% in Richmond upon Thames.

The prevelance of obesity was found to be higher for boys in both year groups. In reception, 9.9% of boys and 9% of girls were classified as obese, while in year 6 the rate was 20.8% for boys and 17.3% for girls…

More at: Poorer children likely to be obese


It’s a slightly counter-intuitive situation when obesity appears correlated with deprivation because, ultimately, obesity comes from excess consumption. Is it lack of information, bad decision making, the higher cost of less fattening foods or what that is causing the link? Please give us your insights in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Health.


  1. Nor_edu

    SchoolsImprove same causes with adults – eating healthy home cooked meals costs money and time. Also less likely to go to clubs/lessons (£)

  2. nrcantor

    Nor_edu SchoolsImprove From experience, reading home cooked meals is significantly cheaper than eating junk food. Spot on about time.

  3. neil_play

    SchoolsImprove Far more complex than you claim. It isn’t just overeating, there are many factors involved, as research has already proven.

  4. neil_play

    SchoolsImprove Look at map. 1 deprived area outside SEast is rated healthy. Why? 70% of schs run OPAL play improvemnt programme for 10 yrs+

  5. atheistsVeuthan

    Nor_edu SchoolsImprove 1 boil kettle. 2. grab thermos flask 3.handful of ordinary pasta, frozen veg, tomato sauce – add hot water. SMILE.

  6. atheistsVeuthan

    Nor_edu SchoolsImprove Home cooked food in the form of a healthy take away snack. No transfats, no sugary sweets.

  7. mr_o_connor

    SchoolsImprove Hasn’t this been known for a long time? There are also more fast food outlets in deprived areas.

  8. HughdjNicklin

    SchoolsImprove UKIP When you can, make it an offence to use ‘deprived’ like this, suggesting that problems there are someone else’s fault.

  9. There are two misconceptions that contribute to this counter-intuition.
    The first is that obesity is nothing more than disrupted homeostasis, or an energy balance disorder, ie: energy in > energy out.
    Obesity is in fact a hormonal disorder; it is the result of defective regulation of the hormones an enzymes that regulate the accumulation of fat in our fat tissue.
    Insulin governs the storage and oxidation of fat in our bodies.
    This hormone is the ‘principal regulator’ of fat metabolism.
    Chronically elevated levels of insulin, and a condition known as insulin resistance, are the common precursors to heart disease and type 2 diabetes (Suprise Suprise)
    The second of these fundamental misconceptions, is that all calories are created equally; it is naive to think that a calorie of chocolate will have the same effect on your body as a calorie of celery (an extreme example I know but you get the point).
    It is no secret that there has been a massive rise in the availability & consumption of processed foods, junk foods (which contain refined/simple carbs & higher levels of saturated fats), and high sugar high salt foods (HSHS) – in particular sugar sweetened beverages (SSB’s)
    Furthermore, research shows that young people do not adjust their food calorie intake to account for calories consumed from such products as SSB’s and this is having a huge impact on the state of our children’s waistlines.
    I was lucky enough to speak with Professor Terence Stephenson (leading expert on childhood obesity) at a conference recently who began his talk by informing the audience that a packet of custard creams (other biscuits are available) contains 2000 kcals – the approximate number of calories needed to sustain a sedentary adt male for a day – and that said packet of biscuits could be purchased for 31pence.
    His point was this: in today’s world, a sedentary adult male could sustain himself from Friday to Monday (approx 6000 kcals) for the measly sum of 93 pence – this is what we are up against.
    Combined with aggressive marketing, lack of consistent education for parents & families, conflicting media messages, (which often cause those people whose ‘health literacy’ is poor to disengage from the ‘health message’) and huge availability of cheap, nutritionally poor foods, all compounded by increases in social poverty and the financial pressure that many families face today and perhaps the link between obesity & social depravation doesn’t seem quite so counter-intuitive after all.

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