More than 560 Year 6 children in Bournemouth, Poole, and Christchurch were classed as obese in 2017/18, according to Public Health England figures.
The total number of Year 6 children, aged 10-11, considered obese in the conurbation stands at 566.
Of that number, there were 266 children from Bournemouth, 229 from Poole, and 71 from Christchurch.
This means that 16.3% of Year 6 kids in the conurbation are regarded as obese, a rise of 0.3% from last year.
In contrast, however, the numbers of Reception age children (aged four to five) classified as obese dropped from 308 last year to 279, a fall of 0.4%.
The statistics have been released during National Obesity Awareness Week, a week-long event meant to urge people to adopt healthier lifestyles. One in five Year 6 children nationwide are regarded as obese.
The figures are taken from the National Child Measurement Programme, run by Public Health England.
Public Health England calculates obesity based on the British 1990 growth reference (UK90) which uses a system based on Body Mass Index, height, head circumference, and other measurements.
Any children in the 85th percentile of weights or above would be considered overweight, with those above 95% considered obese. Those with measurements above 99.6% are classified ‘severely’ obese.
Using these measurements, 775 Reception age children and 1,044 Year 6 children in the conurbation were overweight.
However, the NCMP’s statistics only apply to children participating in the NCMP in state maintained schools. Any measurements taken at independent and special schools are excluded from analysis.
Nonetheless, the prevalence of eating problems in children is undeniable, especially around the ages of 10 and 11.
The government has recently tried multiple measures to prevent children from eating unhealthily, including imposing a ‘sugar tax’ on soft drinks and making shops require an ID for energy drinks.
Words by Akshay Kulkarni, graphics by David England