Weigh primary school children every year to fight obesity, MP says

Sarah Wollaston, a former GP, argued it would slow pupils' weight gain

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Indy Lifestyle Online

A MP has called for children to be weighed every year at primary school to fight Britain’s growing obesity problem.

Sarah Wollaston, who left her career as a GP to go into politics, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain programme one there was a gap in school years where the Government was "doing nothing".

“It’s a very important cause of health inequality and we know that for the most deprived children in schools we go from 12 per cent who are obese when they start to 24 per cent,” she added.

“There’s more we could do to pick it up early and it doesn’t have to be done in an insensitive way.”

The current National Child Management Programme takes the weight and height of children in reception (aged four to five) and Year Six (aged 10 to 11).

The data is used to track changes in the number of overweight and obese children and for local authorities and the national Government to form new policies.

Dr Wollaston, who is the Conservative MP for Totnes, said the current programme was “not a humiliating or difficult process” and could be expanded on through the current gap.

As the head of the Health Select Committee, her comments could have the approval of David Cameron, who has recently backed health drives in schools.

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Earlier this year the Prime Minister announced an extra £150 million funding a year for PE until 2020.

Each year, primary schools will continue to receive £8,000, plus £5 per pupil.

The Education Secretary, Michael Gove, scrapped the School Sports Partnership that ensured all primary and secondary schools had access to professional PE teaching in 2010.

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