This chapter examines the patterns of overweight and obesity among children aged 2-15 in 2013. Children’s own perceptions of their weight and their parents’ perceptions are also examined.
Levels of overweight and obesity
- Among children aged 2-15, 16% of boys and 15% of girls were classed as obese, and 14% of both boys and girls were classed as overweight. This is similar to the previous year.
- The prevalence of obesity increased from 1995 to around 2004 and 2005, where obesity peaked at 18% to 19% among both boys and girls.
- Among children aged 11-15, the proportion who were obese has remained at a broadly similar level since the peak in 2004 and 2005.
- Among those aged 2-10 the proportion who were obese has decreased signiﬁcantly from 17% of both boys and girls in 2005 to 13% of boys and 12% of girls in 2013.
- In both boys and girls aged 2-15, average BMI (body mass index) increased with age, from 16.8kg/m2 for boys and 16.4kg/m2 for girls aged 2-4 to 20.8kg/m2 for boys and 22.2kg/m2 for girls aged 13-15.
22% of boys and 21% of girls aged 2-15 from the lowest household income group were obese, compared with 7% for boys and 6% for girls from the highest household income group.
Perception of weight
15% of children who thought that they were about the right weight were actually overweight while 8% were obese.