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Childhood obesity down

Childhood obesity down

Thursday 16 January 2014

Childhood obesity down

A sharp drop in the number of obese children in Jersey is down to good work by schools, according to the Health department.

There has been a significant decrease in the number of obese five-year-olds in the Island, and the number of obese and overweight 11-year-olds in Jersey is now lower than in England. According to the latest figures, around one-in-five children in Year Six is likely to be overweight or obese.

Obesity is measured using Body Mass Index (BMI) scales based on height and weight, with the highest 5% classed as obese and the next 10% classed as overweight.

Acting Senior Public Health Manager Martin Knight said: “Approaches to healthy weight require a breadth of activity across both food and nutrition as well as physical activity. Our local schools support development of healthy lifestyles across both these issues.

“In particular over recent years there has been a focus on providing healthier foods in secondary school canteens to ensure the school environment supports learning around healthy weight and health behaviours.”

Meanwhile the majority of Island primary schools now take part in the Healthy Schools Programme which is a joint venture between Education, Sport and Culture and Health and Social Services. The programme is designed to promote the link between good health, behaviour and achievement.

Eleven primary schools have been awarded the Healthy Schools status since the programme's inception.

Les Landes, La Moye, Plat Douet, St Luke’s, Rouge Bouillon, St Mary, Trinity, Janvrin, St Clement, St John and First Tower have all been recognized for their work in developing and promoting health within their schools.

The height and weight of children in Reception (four and five-year-olds) and Year Six (ten and 11-year-olds) is measured annually by school nurses from Family Nursing & Home Care.

The latest health figures show that obesity is a bigger problem in the Island’s non fee paying schools for both Reception and Year 6 children.


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