Severe obesity among Year 6 pupils has risen to a record high for the fourth consecutive year. And more than a third of 10 to 11-year-olds are classified as overweight or obese, data from the National Child Measurement Programme found. NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens warned that the rising tide of child obesity will put extra pressure on the NHS.
The country is "clearly not on track" to halve child obesity by 2030, he added.
The programme, overseen by Pubic Health England, measures the height and weight of children from reception and Year 6 classes.
Severe obesity among 10-11 year olds has increased by more than a third since 2006/7, reaching 4.4 percent (26,000 children) in 2018/19.
Children from the most deprived areas were around four times more likely to be severely obese. The proportion of 4-5 year olds overweight or obese is 22.6 percent.
Mr Stevens said: "Obesity is a dangerous public health threat for our children, leading to a string of serious illnesses. These figures show we are clearly not on track to meet the Government's sensible goal of halving childhood obesity. While the NHS will be there for patients, services and budgets will obviously be placed under more strain.
"So we also need combined action from parents, businesses and government to safeguard our children from this preventable harm." PHE backed ministers' call for the industry to reduce the amount of sugar and calories in children's foods by a fifth by 2020.
Severe obesity among 10-11 year olds has increased by more than a third since 2006/7 [FILE PIC] (Image: Kwanchai Chai-Udom / EyeEm / Getty Images)
Chief nutritionist Dr Alison Tedstone said: "Too many children remain overweight or obese, and severe obesity in Year 6 has reached a new high - putting children at risk of poor mental and physical health now and as they become adults. That's why we are addressing the wider factors impacting our children's weight."
Public Health Minister Jo Churchill added: "Our world leading childhood obesity plan will help all families by making the