The proportion of children in Brighton and Hove who are classed as obese has fallen for the sixth year in a row.
More than one in eight children in year 6 at school – children aged 11 years old – are officially obese compared with almost one in five across the country.
And more than one in 20 reception-age children – five-year-olds – are obese, according to the National Child Measurement Programme. Nationally the figure is closer to one in 10.
Brighton and Hove City Council, which is responsible for public health locally, said: “Obesity rates among primary age children in Brighton and Hove continue to be well below the national average, according to new national statistics.
“Figures from the National Child Measurement Programme show that at reception age (children aged five) only 6.8 per cent of children in the city are classed as obese.
“This is 2.5 percentage points below the national average of 9.3 per cent.
“By Year 6 – children aged 11 – the gap between Brighton and Hove and the national average is six percentage points – 13.8 per cent locally against 19.8 per cent nationally.
“Child obesity in the city has fallen every year for the past six years.”
The council’s consultant in public health Katie Cuming said: “Our policy of working not just with our schools but also with partners such as Brighton and Hove Food Partnership, Albion in the Community and Freedom Leisure is still working well.
“We want to prevent obesity happening in the first place, so our focus is on the whole family rather than just the children.
“It’s about helping parents to have the awareness and information they need to make healthy food choices as well as teaching children in the classroom.”
Dr Cuming said: “Our recent Sugar Smart campaign has helped children and their parents learn how to spot sugar in our food and to be aware of how much sugar may be hiding in food we think of as being savoury or healthy.
“Our message is simple – making small changes to what you eat and to how much exercise you get can make a big difference to your weight and your overall health, whatever age you are.”
The council added: “If you are concerned about your child’s weight there are lots of free services across the city that can help.”
Parents and carers can contact Family Shape Up on 01273 431703 for more information.