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One in five children aged 10 and 11 in Ipswich are obese, figures reveal

Children at Britannia Primary School taking part in the Daily Mile initaive  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Children at Britannia Primary School taking part in the Daily Mile initaive Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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One in five children in year 6 of school in Ipswich are obese or severely obese, new figures have revealed.

Children at Martlesham Primary Academy  brave the cold to do their Daily Mile Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNChildren at Martlesham Primary Academy brave the cold to do their Daily Mile Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Data from Public Health England show that 20% of children aged 10-11 are judged to be obese in Suffolk’s county town, compared to the East of England average of 17.9%.

The district of Waveney follows close behind with 19.4% while in Forest Heath the rate of obesity is 18.9%.

However, Suffolk Coastal, Babergh and Mid Suffolk are below the regional average for obesity, with rates of 15.1%, 16.4% and 14.4% respectively.

The national average is 20.1%.

The county has launched various schemes to tackle the issue of childhood obesity including the Daily Mile, an initiative that aims to get children to walk or run a mile a day while at school.

Councillor James Reeder, cabinet member for health at Suffolk County Council, said tackling childhood obesity is a vital part of giving children the best start in life.

He said schemes such as the Daily Mile, One Life Suffolk’s child weight management programme and a recently launched sugar reduction fund were some of the ways the council looked to tackle the issue.

“We recognise there is still more work that needs to be done and to bring about long-term change, we must take a whole system approach to obesity, working closely with partners and organisations who work directly with young people,” he said.

Councillor Margaret Maybury, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for communities, said: “We at Babergh consider creating strong and healthy communities one of our top priorities, and the figures from Public Health England are real cause for concern.

“We’ve been working on how we can start to change this trend, and already our officers and partners are planning a new project working with Primary Schools.

“We’ll be launching that project in the Spring and supporting our communities to fight back against rising childhood obesity.”

Councillor Neil MacDonald, who is responsible for health and wellbeing at Ipswich Borough Council, said: “We provide a wide range of sport and leisure facilities in the town and gave out free junior cards over the summer along with community sport opportunities.”

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