More than one in three children in Waltham Forest aged ten and eleven years old is overweight, new figures suggest.
The number is worse than the England average despite the borough being one of the most improved in London for childhood obesity.
Figures published by the government’s Health and Social Care Information Centre indicate that 35.8 percent of Waltham Forest children in the last year of primary school were overweight or obese, and 22.9 percent of children in their first year.
This compares to 33.2 and 21.9 percent nationally. But the borough also bucked national trends, with the number of children overweight reducing locally compared to a decade ago.
The charity Living Streets claims walking to school could tackle physical inactivity and reduce the pressure put on the NHS by “an inactive nation”.
Tompion Platt, head of policy and research at Living Streets, said: “These figures are a sad reflection of our unhealthy lifestyles; diet is one aspect of this, but it’s also critical we tackle physical inactivity – walking to school is one of the best places to start.”
The charity claims that a generation ago two-thirds of children walked to school, but today less than half do so.
“Things will only get worse if we don’t act soon,” added Tompion.