London Borough of Tower Hamlets: reducing excess weight in children
Childhood obesity is more prevalent in London than the rest of England, with 23.2 per cent of year six pupils considered to be obese in 2019/20. This ranges from 29 percent in Barking and Dagenham to 11.1 percent in Richmond upon Thames, highlighting a clear correlation between deprivation and obesity given the socio-economic data from these two boroughs. In addition to this, over 40 per cent of London’s children are either overweight or obese, placing them at higher risk of future health problems.
Tower Hamlets Borough Council is leading on a programme of work to develop how the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) is used in schools. The NCMP is a mandated annual programme delivered by local authorities to measure the height and weight of all school children in both reception and year six as a way of investing in services that tackle obesity.
This project aims to transform the clarity of signposting and support for children identified as overweight or obese, looking at how NCMP results and recommendations on non-individual actions are communicated to schools to enable them to use these tools more effectively and deliver more targeted programmes and support.