Children in Wolverhampton are the fifth fattest in the country – with almost 50 per cent in one area being classed as clinically obese.
Bilston East tops the poll for the city’s worst hotspot, with 46 per cent of 10-11 year-olds dangerously overweight – and the problem is steadily getting worse, say health chiefs.
Blakenhall comes a close second at 44 per cent.
Figures are still continuing to rise, despite drastic steps to tackle the problem being taken by Wolverhampton City Council – including the banning of takeaways within 400 metres of secondary schools, which came into force in October 2017.
Other figures for the city include St Peter’s (43 per cent); Bushbury South and Low Hill; Heath Town (both 42 per cent); Bilston North (41 per cent); and Oxley (40 per cent). Tettenhall Wightwick came out on top with the least amount of overweight or obese Year 6 pupils at 27 per cent.
It is a total of 26.8 per cent nationally.
Wolverhampton City Council said the problem was an ongoing one but that it was still working hard to provide guidance and support to schools in helping them to tackle the issue of overweight children.
A council spokesman said: “In Wolverhampton, public health and the wider system is working hard to provide guidance and support to schools in relation to legitimate, quality-assured interventions that can contribute towards preventing childhood obesity.
“The council actively encourages the use of PE and Sport Premium funding to increase the breadth of provision of sport and physical activity across the whole school day, widening participation to less traditionally active children.
“This includes improving PE and sports coaching but also involves embedding physical activity into the school day through active travel, active playgrounds and active teaching.”
The figures, supplied by Public Health England (PHE), also revealed that 13.5 per cent of four to five-year-olds in Wolverhampton were classed as obese – the second highest rate of obesity in reception-age children in the country. Statisics showed that 21.5 per cent of adults in the city were morbidly obese.
Wolverhampton was rated just behind Newham (27.4 per cent); Sandwell (28.1 per cent); and Brent (28.1 per cent). Barking and Dagenham topped the poll for most obese 10-11 year-olds in the country with 30 per cent.
According to the national data, deprived areas were most likely to be affected by the problem, with many having more than double the number of obese children when compared to more affluent areas.
Dr Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist for Public Health England (PHE), said: “Children deserve a healthy future and these worrying figures are a reminder that addressing childhood obesity still requires very urgent action.
“There is no single solution to reverse what has, in reality, been a problem that has been decades in the making.
“We need sustained actions to tackle poor diets and excess calorie intakes. We’re continually working with various industries to make food healthier and have given them a lot of guidance on the matter. This is a very serious issue.”