The local council has pledged to continue fighting childhood obesity, despite boasting the lowest percentage of overweight children in London.
A report by the Healthy London Partnership, following research carried out for the ‘Great Weight Debate’, it was highlighted that only 5.3% of Richmond upon Thames children aged 4-5 are considered obese, compared to 10.2% in other London boroughs.
The trend continued to year six, where only 12.6% of children in Year Six were considered obese compared to 23.2% elsewhere.
The figures are captured in the National Child Measurement Programme, where over one million children are measured (by height and weight) every year. However, although Richmond performs well, there are still over 3,000 overweight or obese primary school children in Richmond.
The research also shows that many families felt that in addition to access to parks, leisure facilities, sports and youth clubs, the top four factors that Londoners feel would support children in the capital to lead healthier lives were cheaper healthy food and drink, support to cook healthier food, limits on the number of fast food shops and less marketing and advertising of high fat and sugary food and drink.
Cllr Mark Boyle, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Public Health, said: “We all need to give our children the best start in life. We have a strong track-record in promoting healthy lifestyles for children and young people and their families.
“Richmond is one of the most active boroughs in the country. However, we can’t be complacent. Child obesity is still an issue. If these problems are not tackled early on there is a serious risk of today’s youngsters developing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers in later life.”