NEARLY one in ten children aged four and five in Rother are obese – and the level spikes further by the time they reach ten.
Last Friday’s Observer revealed a mammoth 63.9 per cent of adults living in Bexhill and the surrounding area are now considered either overweight or obese – with warnings that the widening waistlines could create a ticking time bomb for the local NHS.
A long list of health problems are linked to obesity, including type two diabetes, heart disease and a host of other serious illnesses.
And now we can reveal the problem appears to begin at an early age – with eight per cent of all reception class aged pupils in Rother labelled obese.
The data, published earlier this month, looked at children aged between four and five and a second group aged ten and 11 and comes from a study into children’s weights in 2009/10 and 2011/12.
Obesity rates in the second category, school Year Six, jumps to 18.5 per cent – or 405 of the 2,194 children in that age group.
The reception class level of eight per cent equates to 166 obese children from the total of 2,071. Of the remaining children, the report says 78 per cent – or 1,632 – are a healthy weight.
In the Year Six ages group the number of healthy pupils is 1,466, or 66.8 per cent.
The figures for Behxill are around the East Sussex average. County-wide there are 1,156 reception aged pupils considered obese (8.4 per cent) and 17.1 per cent in Year Six (2,339). And 78 per cent of reception class pupils across the county fell within the healthy weight perimeters, with the year six total 67.5 per cent.
Neighbouring Hastings posted results worse than that county average. Ten per cent of reception aged pupils were labelled obese and 20.1 per cent of those aged ten and 11.
Nearby Eastbourne also topped the average, but came out lower than Hastings. The town had obesity levels in the reception age group of 9.6 per cent and 17.9 per cent in the year six class. Just 66.9 per cent of ten to 11 year olds were in the healthy weight group, down from 75.7 per cent at reception class age