Children who are overweight or obese are more likely to become obese adults and have a higher risk of long term conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease (among others) and premature death. Children who are obese are also more likely to be absent from school due to illness and are at increased risk of stigmatisation, bullying and low self-esteem (Rees and others, 2009), which has significant consequences for mental and physical health (Griffiths and others, 2011), (Wijga and others, 2010).
There is strong evidence that once established, obesity is difficult to reverse through interventions and tracks through to adulthood (Waters 2011)>. Through effective prevention the harmful consequences of obesity can be avoided.
The National Childhood Measurement Programme (NCMP) was introduced in 2005/06 and collects height and weight measurements of children in Reception (aged 4-5 years) and Year 6 (aged 10-11 years) in state schools in England. The programme now holds eleven years of data and annually measures over one million children. The NCMP provides robust data for the child excess weight indicators in the Public Health Outcomes Framework, and is a key element of the Government's approach to tacking child obesity. Public Health England (PHE) has responsibility for national oversight of the programme and local authorities have the statutory right to deliver it.