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Guernsey Child Measurement Programme shows 'positive signs'

Young girl weighing herself on bathroom scales
Evidence for a reduction in the levels of excess weight among year five children is moderate to strong [PA Media]

Excess weight among primary school children in the Bailiwick has shown signs of stabilisation and reduction, a report has found.

The Guernsey Child Measurement Programme (GCMP) recorded the heights and weights of 1,152 children in school years one and five.

It said 246 children were found to be overweight or obese.

Head of health intelligence Jenny Cataroche said it was a "positive sign".

The 2023 report found excess weight among year one children was showing signs of stabilisation.

It also found a reduction in excess weight among year five children.

'Very encouraging'

Ms Cataroche said results from 2023 were "very encouraging".

However, she said the absolute levels of excess weight among primary school children were "still concerning".

"While the absolute levels of excess weight among primary school aged children are still concerning, the change over time - or rather the stabilisation and reduction over time which we are now seeing - is a positive sign."

Key findings of the report included:

  • More than 80% of year one children were found to have a healthy weight status compared to 72.1% in year five.

  • About one in six year one children had excess weight and about one in four in year five.

  • 90% of eligible children participated in the measurement round.

There was not strong statistical evidence for any directional change in the levels of excess weight among children in year one - meaning levels were stable.

Evidence for a reduction in the levels of excess weight among year five children was moderate to strong.

Dr Simon Sebire, chief executive of the health improvement commission, said the Bailiwick needed to "prioritise a range of preventative actions" which would "positively shape" everyday access to healthy food.

Dr Nicola Brink director of public health, said stabilisation was the "first step towards the goal" of young people living "healthier, active lives".


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