Childhood obesity in the Diocese of Winchester

Obesity correlates with issues related issues the bible talks about as matters of justice and mercy. Unofficially for Church of England leaders in Winchester Diocese I’ve mapped childhood obesity prevalence in a way which allows an estimate of the situation in their parish. Click the picture to link to a larger file better formatted for printing

Plain Language Summary

I’ve mapped the proportion of 10-11 year old children judged to be obese in school year 2014/15 to 2016/17 based on where they live, against a geostatistical area based on 2011 census data that contain two to six thousand households.

‘Judged to be obese’ is an important term here. The statistic is based on children whose weight exceeds 95% of the 90% percentile BMI – based on the British 1990 growth reference. BMI is an imperfect measure and it will misidentify some children as obese when they are plainly not. That is why the standard letter to carers and parents includes the line ‘These results suggest…’

An overlay of an approximate map of Church of England Parishes in Hampshire and some of East Dorset allows parish clergy and leaders to make an informal an informal estimate of the likely obesity rate in their parish, and to more appropriately target missional and social justice interventions.

An OS base map is provided to help with parish identification. Obesity data was provided by Public Health England via routine outputs from their National Child Measurement Programme which measures the height and weight of over one million children in Year 6.

Deprivation stats from Research and Statistics at Church House

Research and Statistics produce excellent mapping of parish vs deprivation statistics:CofE deprivation statistics Many parishes will find that they observe higher obesity levels in parishes with higher levels of deprivation (that is worse social conditions). This work in no way replaces that, but provides an estimate of the most recent childhood obesity rates.

Technical Summary

This work maps the prevalence (technically I think, a period prevalence) of childhood obesity among Year 6 (age 10-11 years) children in school year 2014/15 to 2016/17 based on their home address against Medium Level Super Output Areas (MSOA) overlaid with an approximate map of the ecclesial parishes of the Diocese of Winchester. The overlay permits an estimate by inspection to be made of likely childhood obesity rates in a particular parish.

Obesity prevalences were reported by Public Health England (PHE) using data from the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) and relate to children attending state maintained primary schools only. PHE classified children as obese if their body mass index (BMI) was greater than or equal to the 95th centile of the British 1990 growth reference (UK90) BMI distribution.

Data from one MSOA in this set has been censored to avoid identifying children living in that area as either: there were too few children, or of the children were were too few were obese