The UK now has one of the highest levels of childhood obesity among developed countries, with one in five children presenting as obese at the time of school entry. This is creating a potentially explosive public health problem.1
Not only can obesity affect children’s immediate health, but it may have a significant impact on overall quality of life, mental wellbeing and educational attainment. Research indicates that children who are obese are more likely to become obese adults, with increased risks of chronic diseases associated with obesity.2 These diseases include an increased risk of various cancers, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.3
This article looks at the ways schools measure obesity in children, and some of the challenges school nurses face. It also identifies some of the modifiable factors associated with childhood obesity in children aged five to 11 years.
School measurement programme