A third of 10 and 11-year-olds obese in two areas of London

shutterstock_291654485-2London’s record on childhood obesity has been poor and getting worst for some time. But data for small areas released by Public Health England raise new levels of concern as in two neigbbourhoods a third of the 10 and 11-year old children are now obese.

In the electoral ward of Camberwell Green, Southwark 34% of Year 6 children are obese. In Hoxton West in Hackney its 33%.  Only one other area of England has a higher level – 35% in Sutton-on-Sea in Lincolnshire.

The Public Health England data covers nearly 7,500 electoral wards in England and it shows that six of the ten worst areas for childhood obesity among Year 6 children are in London.

Obesity Year 6 wards-2

It’s a similar pattern for children in Reception, aged 4 and 5, where Woodberry Down ward in Hackney has the worst record in the country and a rate that is double the England average. Six other neighbourhoods in the capital are also among the worst ten in England for this age group.

Obesity reception ward-2

This small area data is gathered by Public Health England to help target resources to combat child weight problems.

The poor record on obesity for primary school children is reflected more broadly at borough level and underlines that London has one of the most severe problems in the country.

At Reception age,  six of the ten local authorities with the highest rates are in London.  The highest level local authority average rate in the England is nearly 14% in Barking and Dagenham. Greenwich, Newham, Hackney, Southwark and Tower Hamlets all have rates of 12% or above.

The obesity rates in these boroughs doubles for Year 6 children. Enfield and Westminster also have more than a quarter of Year 6 children classified as obese.  Eight of the ten local authorities in England with the highest obesity rates for 10 and 11-year olds are in London.

Source data

See also

How the obesity rate doubled for the class of 2007

Childhood obesity highest in London

Thousands of children sent to hospital because of tooth decay

 

Police taking a relaxed approach to ban on smoking in cars

Smoking-2The ban on smoking in cars when children are passengers is not being enforced in London.

The law was introduced on October 1st last year to protect children from the dangers of secondhand smoke. It is illegal to smoke in a vehicle carrying under 18s and both the driver and the smoker, if it’s a different person,  could face fines of £50.

But in response to a Freedom of Information request the Metropolitan Police has revealed that no fixed penalty fines have been issued.  The only incident recorded in the past 5 months was a person given a verbal warning when seen smoking in a car carrying a child on Westminster Bridge.

Anti-smoking campaigners have called for the new law to be enforced.  The Met says that the Department of Health and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children have suggested that a period of education is needed before it starts issuing fines.

See also

Thousands of children sent to hospital because of tooth decay

Teenage survey finds that Richmond has highest level of cannabis use

London losing its thirst for binge drinking

More mums in their early 40s than early 20s in city’s wealthiest areas

Pregnant at work g-stockstudio-2

Photo: g-stockstudio ┃Shuttertock.com

Women giving birth in their early 40s outnumber women giving birth in their early 20s in 8 of London’s most affluent boroughs. In Kensington and Chelsea the ratio is 2:1 in favour of the older mums.

The figures in the latest births data from the Office for National Statistics underlines the long-running trend towards women having children when they are older. Nationally the number of mums in the 35-39 age group exceeded those aged 20-24 for the first time last year, according to the data just released.

But in London that trend is more developed and the numbers of women in their 40s giving birth is growing. Across England and Wales just under half of all births are to women in their 20s. In London it is 38% as more women wait before having children.

London v national birth ages

London mums have an older age profile. The data show that 18% of all the children born in the England and Wales in 2014 were born in London. But only 9% of those born to under 20s were in the capital, while it is home to a quarter of mothers over 35 and more than a third of those over 45.

Across England and Wales as a whole the picture is different and the number of mothers in their early 20s outnumbers those in their 40s by 4:1.  This is the case in some London boroughs too, such as Newham and Barking and Dagenham. But in Richmond, and Kensington and Chelsea the 40-44s have outnumbered the 20-24s for some years and this trend is now emerging in more boroughs, including Camden, City of London, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kingston, Wandsworth and Westminster.

20s v 40s

The affluent nature of these boroughs suggests that professional women trying to balance career with the timing of children may be a key driver of this trend.

Source data

See also

Baby booming Wandsworth is the city’s kiddie capital

Over 50% of London babies have mothers born outside the UK

Fewer babies born last year but birth rates vary across city

 

How the obesity rate doubled for the class of 2007

dreamstime_s_9910135The rate of obesity in primary school children in London doubles between Reception and Year 6. And the capital has the biggest problem of any region in the country with children who are overweight or classified as obese.

The findings come from analysis by Urbs Media of data from the National Child Measurement Programme over the last 9 years. Under this programme children are measured and weighed at the start and the end of primary school. It was set up by the government to help tackle obesity and covers children in all state schools, with around 95% taking part.

The most recent figures are for the 2013-14 school year and show that more than a fifth of children in Year 6 in London are classified as obese. That is more than double the rate for children in reception.

child obesity London

And this is not a recent phenomenon. Data going back to the 2006-07 school year shows a similar doubling in rates of obesity.

The Year 6 children from last year entered the school system in 2007. The data for that year shows that of the 74,235 Reception children measured, 10.8% or 8,017 were classified as obese.   In Year 6, 78,642 were measured. Many of the children may be different as families leave and arrive in the capital. But many will be the same. The rate of obesity for the class of 2007 had doubled by age 11.

London’s record looks even grimmer when children who are classified as overweight are added. In London, 38% of 11-year-olds are classified as overweight or obese. The North East and the West Midland have a very similar proportion of overweight 11-year-olds but a slightly lower rate of obese children.

child obesity regional

The Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to calculate levels of body fat to indicate whether someone is classified as underweight, healthy weight, overweight or obese. For most adults a BMI above 30 indicates obesity. The index levels for each classification vary for children to take account of difference in growth rates at different ages.

The data for London shows a largely capital-wide problem with 7 boroughs (Hackney, Westminster, Tower Hamlets, Newham, Barking and Dagenham, Lambeth and Southwark) with more that a quarter of Year 6 pupils classified as obese. Richmond stands out by having a much lower level. It also has a lower level of obese 5-year-olds, just 6%.

child obesity map

London has a better record on adult obesity than other regions of the country but the National Child Measurement Programme data shows a significant problem for youngsters that will lead to serious health issues in later lifer.

Much has been done in the recent year to raise awareness of the need for a good diet and the risks of being overweight. Despite that, the data shows that this has been  a consistent problem and it is not going away.

Source data

BMI calculator

See also

Thousands of children sent to hospital because of tooth decay

Size matters – and it depends where you live

Muhammad and Amelia top London’s baby name charts, again

1 in every 100 boys born in London last year was named Muhammad. It has been the most popular boys’ name in the capital since 2011 and bucks the trend of the rest England and Wales where Oliver topped the naming charts in every other region except the North East, where it was 2nd.

The other spelling of the name, Mohammed, was the 10th most popular choice in London. Taken together it was the name for 1,300 of the 65,523 boys born in the capital, or 1.98%, according to data from the Office of National Statistics.

Amelia was the most popular girls’ name, as it was across England and Wales, and was given to 1% of the 61,869 girls born in London. Amelia has been the nationwide favourite since 2012.

Top Names in London 2014
Boys Girls
Muhammad Amelia
Oliver Olivia
Alexander Sophia
Daniel Isabella
Joshua Emily
James Maya
Adam Sofia
George Mia
Jack Sophie
Mohammed Chloe

Parents of girls seemed particularly fond of names ending with ia. They accounted for 5 of the top 10 names. Variants of Sophia/Sofia/Sophie also dominated accounting for more than 1,200 of the girls or just over 2%.

Source data

See also

Fewer babies born last year but birth rates vary across city

Schools data reveals ethnic mix with fall in proportion of white British pupils

Our multi-lingual city – English second language for half of primary pupils

Violence, disruption and drugs – why 20,000 pupils were excluded from school last year

School LibraryMore than 22,000 pupils were excluded from primary and secondary schools on a permanent or temporary basis last year. And black children were far more likely to be excluded than white or Asian ones.

Exclusions are given to children for severe or persistent breaches of school rules. In the most serious cases a pupil is permanently prevented from attending the school. In lesser cases a Head Teacher can exclude a child for a fixed period of time.

Children are most commonly excluded for an assault on a fellow pupil. This accounted for 8,000 incidents last year. The other main reason is persistent poor behaviour. But in more than 2,000 cases a teacher or other adult was attacked and children were excluded for drug and alcohol related incidents more than 1,000 times.

Exclusions reaasons

Figures from the Department for Education for the 2013-14 school year show that 780 pupils in London were permanently excluded, 90% of them from secondary schools, though the number from primary schools was up slightly on last year.

Nearly 35,000 fixed period exclusions were handed out, with some children sent home from school for a number of days on more than one occasion. This represents a rate of exclusion of 3.37% of the compulsory school age population compared to an average for England of 3.98%. It means the capital has the lowest rate in the country.

But the overall rate masks a variation in rates among ethnic groups. Black children are excluded at a higher rate than white, while Asian children have the lowest level of exclusion.

Exclusions ethnic

Across London there is a wide range in the rate of exclusion, from 6.3% in Hackney to just 1.6% in Kingston for pupils sent home for fixed terms. Across London last year nearly 94,000 school days were lost to children on temporary exclusion

Exclusions map fixed

To understand borough patterns for the smaller number of permanent exclusions where parents have to find an alternative school for their child Urbs looked at the data over 5 years – 2009-14. This showed 7 boroughs with more than 200 exclusions and 5 with 60 or fewer.

Exclusion map permanent

According to the Department of Education 14-year olds have the highest rate of exclusion and boys are 3 times more likely to be excluded as girls.

Source data

See also

34,000 pupils could be without a secondary school place in next 5 years

Schools data reveals ethnic mix with fall in proportion of white British pupils

Newham formally lists fewer kids for special needs support than other boroughs

Fewer babies born last year but birth rates vary across city

Baby handThe number of children born in London fell marginally last year to 127,399, a reduction of 0.7% on 2013.

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that the birth rate has fallen for a second year. The ONS uses a measure called GRF (general rate of fertility) to measure the number of births per 1,000 women in the 15-44 age group. The rate for the whole of London is 63.3, a little above the average for England of 62.2 and the third highest in the country.

births natonally

But the overall rate hides a large variation across the city. The birth rate in the inner London boroughs is 56.5, and the differences become starker when looked at on a borough-by-borough level.

London has a central core of 4 boroughs where the birth rate is much lower. In the City of London, Camden, Westminster and Islington rates are below 50 per 1000 women. But in several outer boroughs, notably Barking & Dagenham and Newham the rate is over 75. Barking & Dagenham has the 4th highest GFR in England.

births london

The proportion of births to mothers born outside the UK went up slightly to 27% nationally in 2014. This has increased every year since 1990 and has a particular impact in London where there is a large overseas-born population.

Source data

See also

London drives UK population growth

Younger workforce makes capital’s population pensioner poor

Booming population will struggle to find a place to live

Baby booming Wandsworth is the city’s kiddie capital

Mum wiht baby in buggie-1Anyone who has walked down the Northcote Road in Battersea on a Saturday morning will tell you that there are a lot of children in the neighbourhood.  It is pretty self evident from the numbers of buggies that you need to navigate as you take in the area’s cafe culture.

The area which lies between Clapham Common and Wandsworth Common has been dubbed Nappy Valley and the epithet is certainly supported by the data.  Analysis by Urbs of child benefit data shows that Wandsworth, where Nappy Valley is situated,  has the highest proportion of children under 4 in London.  37% of the children in the borough are babies and pre-school kids. That’s a third higher than the national average of 20%.  The rate for London is 31%.

under 4s in London map

While Wandsworth has the highest proportion of tiny Londoners, for sheer numbers of children Croydon takes the prize. The borough has 95,000 under 18s, beating Barnet with 90,000 and Newham with 85,000.

If you want to avoid children then head to the City of London.  The high proportion of under 4s on our map, while accurate, may be misleading as the square mile is home to just 885 kids.

Source data

1 in 3 kids growing up in out-of-work households in parts of London

children legsChildren in Tower Hamlets and Islington are more than 4 times as likely to live in a home with parents who are out of work than those in Richmond.

A borough-by-borough breakdown compiled every May from data from the Department of Work and Pensions shows that 31% of children in both those inner London areas are living in homes where out-of-work benefits are claimed. The map below shows that this is not an exclusively inner city issue with 25% of children in out-of-work households in Enfield in the north, and 27% in Barking and Dagenham in the east.

In comparison, Richmond and Kingston in south west London have the lowest level of out-of work benefit households with children, followed by Harrow and Barnet.

Children out of work households map

338,00 children under 15 are in households claiming out-of-work benefits. London has a higher than average rate at 20%, compared to 18% for England, though since 2010 the rate has been declining and appears to be moving towards the national average. Unemployment rates in London have been static this year and are slightly higher than the national avearage, as reported by Urbs.

London is also seeing a reduction in the number of children being looked after by councils. While this has been historically high in London the rate has fallen below the rate for England since 2011.  It is currently 54 children per 10,000.  That means that in the last year a little over 10,000 children in London have been looked after by social services, children’s homes, foster parents or have been adopted.  Again there is a marked difference between the wealthier and poorer boroughs. In Richmond it is 20 children per 10,000. In Southwark the rate is 91 per 10,000 – that’s 550 kids.

Children looked after map

Source data

Children in Out of work households

Children in borough care

Childhood obesity highest in London

Obesity_London_ 2The rate of obesity in young people aged 10-19 is 40 per cent higher in London than the rest of England. While London enjoys a good record compared to the national average in all adult age groups the numbers for youngsters suggest future health problems for London families.

Across England 3.1% of youngsters are classified as obese. But in London that figure jumps to 5.3%. In all other age groups London levels are below the national average.

Adult Obesity by age

The data is based upon the Health Survey for England, the Sport England Active Person Survey and BMI information from the Understanding Society study for Health England.

Obesity is measured using the Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters. The NHS’s easy calculator is here.  A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal, healthy weight. Below 18.5 is underweight, above 25 is overweight and 30 and above is obese.

Obesity is broken down into three categories – severely obese, morbidly obese and super obesity. All the children in London are in the first category. Across England there are a small number of teenagers in the other two.

Obesity is linked to a number of health problems, including type-2 diabetes and heart disease.

Source data