Another academic year has been completed and with it, a new set of statistics showing children’s obesity levels when leaving school. Unfortunately, the latest figures show the highest number of obese children leaving primary school since records began.
The newest data (representing the end of the 16/17 academic year) shows that one in 25 children in year 6 were either obese or severely obese, where as this figure lay at one in 32 during the 06/07 academic year.
Despite initiatives from the government over the last few years to try and counter childhood obesity, there has still been a steady rise in overall numbers of obese children.
Figures are also showing that the rate of childhood obesity is rising at the end of primary school faster than it is rising before children to start school.
There is now a clear need for government policies to be implemented sooner rather than later, as the overall heath and wellbeing of obese children is at a major risk.
Children leaving school already overweight or obese are around five times more likely to be obese as an adult and also increasing their risk of potentially life threatening diseases and also potential mental health illnesses.
The Bugs Group believes that one of the main contributors into childhood obesity is due to inactivity levels.
More and more children are now leading a sedentary lifestyle and not participating in the government recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day.
Beyond the compulsory two hours of PE a week at school, children may not either have the opportunity or motivation to further participate in sport and physical activity.
The current NHS guidelines also show that children should participate in three different physical activities per week, which are: aerobic exercise, exercises to strengthen their bones and exercises.
At The Bugs Group, we try and incorporate all of these elements into our activities and sessions, which run as community classes each week or during school time as PE Curriculum or After School Clubs.
Our FootieBugs, YogaBugs, DanceBugs and MultiBugs classes all incorporate elements to strengthen both muscles and bones in young children, as well as improving their aerobic capacity.
The way we teach our sessions through the use of storytelling and imagination, as well as constant feedback and encouragement to help boost confidence, helps children to gain positive experiences of sport at physical activity at an early age. This in turn increases the likelihood that children will enjoy getting physically active and choose to stay active, reaching recommended activity levels and therefore massively boosting their both physical and mental health.
For more information on any of The Bugs Group’s classes and programmes, please visit our website here.