CHILDREN are more likely to be obese when they leave Warrington's primary schools as they were a decade ago, new figures show.

NHS Digital data shows 19 per cent of year six pupils in Warrington were classed as obese in 2019-20, which is up from 17 per cent in 2009-10.

Across England, obesity among year 6 pupils rose from 19 per cent in 2009-10 to 21 per cent in 2019-20.

It was a similar picture for children in reception, with the proportion who were obese increasing to 9 per cent in 2019-20, from 8 per cent a decade before.

Likewise, the number of people being admitted to Warrington Hospital through obesity has more than doubled over the past three years.

Further NHS Digital data reveals that in Warrington, there were 3,730 hospital admissions where obesity was a primary or secondary factor in 2019-20.

That was 1,796 in every 100,000 residents – up from the previous year's figure of 1,288. Three years earlier, the rate was 741.

Women accounted for three in five obesity-related hospital cases in Warrington in 2019-20, the figures reveal.

Indoor fitness classes run by LiveWire have resumed in line with the Governments roadmap out of lockdown

Indoor fitness classes run by LiveWire have resumed in line with the Government's roadmap out of lockdown

Nationally, there were more than 1million admissions due to obesity in 2019-20 – up 17 per cent from 2018-19.

Warrington Borough Council has admitted it is worried that obesity appears to be on the rise in the town and says it is ‘crucial’ that focus shifts to becoming fitter and healthier as coronavirus restrictions begin to ease.

A spokesman said: “We are concerned that obesity levels in children have risen, but the rates are relatively low.

“There has been a slight rise for both pupils in reception and year 6 over the last 10 years, but the figures in Warrington are below the current national average and low compared to other areas in the north west.

“Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a reduced offer of healthy weight and lifestyles programmes over the past year, but we are expecting these services to increase again in the coming months.

“National coronavirus restrictions and school closures have also had an effect on children, young people and their families in accessing sports facilities, participating in activities and having no access to PE sessions provided at school.

“Now, as restrictions start to ease in line with the government’s roadmap, it is crucial that we all have a renewed focus on getting fitter and healthier as we begin to recover from Covid and build our resilience for the future.”

The spokesman added that the council wants to encourage people to be physically active and live healthier lives, and that it is looking for ways to make being active easier and more accessible for everyone.

LiveWires popular Fit To Tackle weightloss bootcamps have also returned post-lockdown

LiveWire's popular Fit To Tackle weightloss bootcamps have also returned post-lockdown

This includes promoting active travel as a key part of its Local Transport Plan, making it safer for people to leave their cars at home and travel around the borough.

Thye continued: “We routinely provide schools, and our children’s centres, with information and materials around healthy lifestyles, and the My Life Warrington website features a range of services for children and their families.

“We also have a proactive School Sports Partnership that over the years has trained primary school teachers and pupils to become peer champions for ‘eating well and moving more’.

“LiveWire coordinates a school sports and PE membership scheme, where schools can spend their annual PE and sports premium budget to purchase continued professional development sessions for teachers and other support to deliver physical activity.

“We have also recently launched a holiday activity and food programme to support pupils and their families with healthier lifestyle choices throughout the school holidays.

“In addition to this, the NHS offers a range of services to support children and young people in Warrington who are identified as being over a healthy weight range.

“All of our activities and programmes are designed to help children and families from all backgrounds to ensure that everyone has access to healthy lifestyle information and advice that can help to combat the rise in childhood obesity.”