More than 40 per cent of Newham’s pupils in the last year of primary school are obese, figures published in a council document show.

The child obesity rate for year 6 pupils in Newham is 42.7 per cent and is higher than the average rate for year 6 kids in London [37.9 per cent] and England [34.3 per cent].

Meanwhile, 23.7 per cent of reception-aged children in Newham are obese. The council has acknowledged the child obesity statistics as a “health issue” for the borough.

Other figures mentioned in the council’s Education, Children and Young People Scrutiny Commission, which was presented in a meeting on Wednesday evening (November 23), reveal 50.3 per cent of the borough’s children are living in poverty, which is the second highest in the UK.

A recent report published by the London Assembly looking into child poverty in the capital, estimates 10,489 children in Newham are currently living in food insecurity.

The term is defined as a person lacking regular access to adequate food that will help them have normal growth and development as part of living an active and healthy life.

The report, Growing Hungry: The Call for a Childhood Hunger Commission for London, said those on lower incomes are hit hardest by food insecurity, and that the number of children going to bed “with their tummy rumbling” has likely already increased.

A 2018 study from University College London said children from disadvantaged families are at a higher risk of being overweight, due to socio-economic circumstances shifting over the last few decades.

Foods high in fat, salt or sugar are more often subjected to promotions in supermarkets, compared to fruit and vegetables, the study found.

There is also further evidence to suggest a disadvantaged area is more likely to have a higher number of fast food takeaways, which could lead to obesity across the board.

Next door in Tower Hamlets, another borough with high levels of deprivation, Mile End Road has become known as “Chicken Shop Mile” due to having more than a dozen chicken shops in one street.