Childhood overweight and obesity statistics

Excess bodyweight

Cancer cases linked to excess bodyweight, UK

Childhood

Children aged 2-15 overweight or obese, UK

Childhood overweight and obesity has health consequences both at the time and in older age. People who are overweight or obese in early life may remain obese in adulthood.[1]

Overweight and obesity prevalence is higher in children whose mothers are overweight or obese.[1]

Last reviewed:

Around 3 in 10 (25-34%) children in the UK’s constituent countries are overweight or obese by body mass index (BMI) (2012-2016).[1-4] 8-20% of boys and 11-19% of girls in the UK’s constituent countries are obese.

Overweight and Obesity Prevalence, Children Aged 2-15, Countries of the UK, 2012-2016

    England (2015) Wales (2012) Scotland (2015) Northern Ireland (2015-2016)
Boys Overweight 15 16 11 16
Obese 15 20 15 8
Overweight or obese 30 35 26 24
Girls Overweight 13 15 15 16
Obese 13 19 14 11
Overweight or obese 26 33 29 26
Children Overweight 14 15 13 16
Obese 14 19 15 9
Overweight or obese 28 34 28 25

Data collection periods, methods and definitions vary between UK constituent countries (see original sources for further information), so comparison between these countries is not recommended.

References

  1. Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety Northern Ireland. Health Survey Northern Ireland: first results 2015/16. Accessed December 2016.
  2. Health and Social Care Information Centre. Health Survey for England – 2015: Children trend tables. Accessed December 2016.
  3. The Scottish Government. The Scottish Health Survey 2015: Trend Tables. Accessed December 2016.
  4. Welsh Government. Welsh Health Survey 2012 - Welsh Health Survey 2012 - Chapter 6: Health of Children. Accessed December 2016.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2012-2016

Last reviewed:

Overweight and obesity by body mass index (BMI) prevalence does not vary significantly between age groups in England, 2015 data show.[1]

Overweight and Obesity Prevalence, Children Aged 2-15, by Age, England, 2015

Last reviewed:

Overweight and obesity by body mass index (BMI) prevalence among children aged 2-15 in England has overall increased since the mid-1990s, though this includes an increase to the mid-2000s followed by a decrease.[1] Childhood overweight and obesity prevalence has not changed significantly in Scotland or Northern Ireland in recent years.[2,3]

Overweight and Obesity Prevalence, Children Aged 2-15, England, 1995-2015

Overweight and obesity prevalence data are not adjusted for population characteristics including age and ethnicity, which have also changed over time; so comparison over time should be made with caution.

References

  1. Health and Social Care Information Centre. Health Survey for England - 2015: Child trend tables. Accessed December 2016.
  2. The Scottish Government. The Scottish Health Survey 2015: Volume 1: Main Report. Accessed December 2016.
  3. Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety Northern Ireland. Health Survey Northern Ireland: first results 2015/16. Accessed December 2016.

About this data

Data is for UK, 1995-2015

Last reviewed:

Prevalence of overweight and obesity among children in England is higher in those from lower-income households compared with higher income households.[1]

Overweight and Obesity Prevalence, by Equivalised Household Income, Children Aged 2-15, England, 2015

Last reviewed:

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