There is a "stark" increase between the ages of seven and 11 in the proportion of children in the UK who are overweight or obese, new data suggests.
The study of nearly 12,000 children found 25% were overweight or obese at age seven, rising to 35% at 11.
Between 11 and 14, there was little change, however, which researchers say may be because children of this age are making more of their own food choices.
Rob Percival, Senior Policy Officer commented:
“The Government’s ‘Obesity Plan’ is failing in plain sight. The lacklustre launch a year ago has translated into insufficient action. We’re still awaiting the long-promised Healthy Rating Scheme for primary schools, and the new Early Years menus launched last week – a year after they were promised – have not been adequately promoted. No support has been made available to nursery cooks and managers to put the guidelines into practice, or to monitor their impact. Without further concerted action childhood obesity rates will continue to rise, and the healthcare and social costs will rise in turn. We sitting on a ticking time-bomb of ill health and diminished life opportunities.”
Find out more about the impact of the Food for Life programme here.