Somerset schools to measure pupils' weight

All of the primary schools in Somerset are to take part in the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) this year, in a bid to reduce childhood obesity.

Last year, NCMP figures for England showed that childhood obesity has increased over the last year in both reception and year 6, with 22.1 per cent of reception children and 34.2 per cent children in Year 6 deemed overweight or obese.

In Somerset, results found that 19.9 per cent of reception children and 28.6 per cent of Year 6 children were either overweight or very overweight, putting both age groups below the national averages. Nonetheless, Somerset County Council has orchestrated for weighing and measuring to take place during the summer term.

Trudi Grant, director of Public Health at the council, said: “It’s fantastic that all the county’s primary schools are involved and I’m sure Somerset’s parents will embrace the programme. It allows us to monitor how healthy Somerset children are and offer support to families and schools to help them achieve a healthy weight.

“With the results we can tailor support where it is needed most. In some schools we are providing a six week Healthy Futures Zing programme using Change4life resources and we have also introduced ‘The Golden Mile’ into some Somerset schools. Children simply walk, jog or run around the Golden Mile track within the safety of the school grounds.”