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Forecasts predict fall in number of obese and overweight children

3 November 2009

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After a steep rise in levels of child obesity, the problem may be set to subside according to new public health figures.

Forecasts for the next 11 years suggest a 17% drop can be expected for overweight girls between the ages of two and 11 and a 4% decrease in obese girls of the same age.

When applied to males, a fall of 5% among overweight boys, and a 7% drop in the anticipated number of obese boys was evident.

Public Health Minister Gillian Merron said: “The encouraging news that child obesity may be levelling off is thanks to the hard work of families, schools and the NHS across England, supported by government initiatives such as ‘5 A Day’ and ‘Healthy Schools’, which have overseen improvements to school food and school sport.”

The Change4Life Healthy Towns, launched a year ago this month, are Dudley, Halifax, Sheffield, Tower Hamlets, Thetford, Middlesbrough, Manchester, Tewkesbury and Portsmouth.

The towns, which each received a share of a £30m government investment, have spent the last year creating opportunities for their local communities to become active and eat healthily.

Copyright © Press Association 2009