Efforts to stem the rise in obesity among children have failed to make an impact, new official figures suggest.
Statistics included in the latest annual Health Survey for England reveal that greater numbers of children were obese in 2004 than in any other year since recordings began in 1995 – despite signs of improvement in 2003.
The survey, commissioned by the Department of Health and the Information Centre for health and social care, shows that obesity levels rose from 11% in 1995 to 19% in 2004 among boys aged between 2 and 15, and from 12% in 1995 to 18% in 2004 among girls in the same age group.
The rise comes despite the shared goal of the DH, the Department for Education and Skills and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to halt the year-on-year increase in obesity among children under 11 by 2010. The target is part of a broader strategy to tackle obesity in the population as a whole.