NEW figures show a “disappointing” rise in child obesity in Bournemouth for pupils in their first and last years at primary school.

The town’s year six children were weighed and measured for the National Child Measurement Programme and a total of 18.2 percent were classed as obese, up three percent in a year.

And the number of obese children in reception year in Bournemouth also went up, by 0.2 percent from eight percent.

The newly released figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre, which is a a government organisation, relate to year six and reception year pupils for the year 2012 to 2013.

The schoolchildren were weighed and measured if their parents consented.

The National Child Measurement Programme has now been completed for seven years running, meaning the children who just left primary school were also those first weighed and measured.

Dr David Phillips, director of Public Health Dorset, said: “This year the data shows some positive trends, such as the percentage of overweight children in both age groups, in England and locally, which have decreased since last year; but also some disappointing trends, such as the percentage of obese children in both age groups, which has gone up in Bournemouth.

“It is clear we have much more to do both nationally and locally as we would all wish to see these figures fall.

“Most of us would recognise the main factors that contribute to obesity, such as diet and lack of exercise, and also recognise that this is a complicated problem with no easy solutions.

“There is a role for all of us in responding to this, and in particular all parents in encouraging their children to be active for 60 minutes each day and in encouraging their children to eat a balanced healthy diet.

“Free school meals, which are being introduced next year, will help and parents wishing more advice might like to visit the national Change4Life programme at”


     2011-12 2012-13 2011-12 2012-13
Bournemouth reception age   14.8% 13.1% 8% 8.2%
Bournemouth year-six age   14.7% 13.9% 15.2% 18.2%
Poole reception age   13.3% 14.6% 9.7% 8.6%
Poole year-six age    14% 14.7% 15.1% 13.9%
Christchurch reception age   12.5% 14.6% 8.2% 9.4%
Christchurch year-six age   12.5% 13% 12.3% 10.5%
East Dorset reception   11.1% 13.3% 6.2% 6.2%
East Dorset year-six   14.5% 13% 16.1% 15.6%
Purbeck reception age   11.8% 10.9% 7.7% 6.6%
Purbeck year-six    12.4% 15.3% 13.5% 14.1%