A Public Health England report looking back over the last 10 years has concluded there is a strong link between obesity and poorer areas in the country.
NHS Digital data shows 20% of Year 6 pupils in the area were classed as obese in 2019/20 – up from 18% in 2009/10.
It was a different picture for children in reception – with the proportion who were obese dropping to nine per cent in 2019/20 – down from 11% a decade before.
Nationally obesity among Year 6 pupils rose from 19% ten years ago to 21%.
Dr Alison Tedstone, PHE’s chief nutritionist, said: “Obesity is complex and is influenced by a range of factors, including education, income and the places that people live in, which may in part explain why we are seeing more overweight children in the most deprived areas.
She added: "Too many children are living with obesity, threatening their future mental and physical health. Bold measures are needed to tackle this.”
The NHS Confederation, a membership body for NHS organisations, called for more restricting of fast food shops near schools, more play areas and parks and VAT rate raised on unhealthy foods.
Dr Layla McCay, director of policy, said: "Health problems caused by obesity costs the NHS more than £6bn a year and affects people’s health throughout their lives. It is vital that the Government goes further and does more.”