The Child Measurement Programme Annual Report 2017-2018 highlights the trends in childhood obesity in Wales. The Child Measurement Programme for Wales is a surveillance programme designed to understand how Welsh children are growing.
According to the report, the majority of children aged 4 to 5 years are healthy weight, but 26.4 per cent of children are overweight or obese. 3.3 per cent of children were found to be severely obese in 2017-2018 compared to 2.7 per cent in 2012-2013.
The levels of severe obesity in Wales are substantially higher than those in England (2.4 per cent) or in Scotland (2.6 per cent). The most disadvantaged areas of Wales had the highest proportion of severely obese children (3.9 per cent), Merthyr Tydfi alone accounting for 5.1 per cent.
Lucy O’Loughlin, Consultant at Public Health Wales, said: "Childhood obesity levels in Wales are not improving, and it is very worrying that children as young as four years old are falling into the category of being severely obese. We know that once children are obese, they are at risk of getting even more obese as they get older."