More than a quarter of children in Richmond have been identified as having a weight problem, a recent survey has revealed.

Richmond Council praised the figure because it was below the national average of 33 per cent, but the survey, carried out by Public Health England, found 26 per cent of children living in the borough were classified as having a weight problem.

Richmond Council’s cabinet member for health and children’s services Councillor Christine Percival said children in Richmond were given the best start.

She said: “Our children’s health and educational standards continue to be among the best in the country.

“However, we will not become complacent following the results of the study and we will continue to do everything we can to lower obesity levels of children and young people.”

But critics said the figures were not something to be proud of.

Opposition spokesman for health Councillor Liz Jaeger said: “While we may be grateful things aren’t as bad as the London and national averages, these percentages are nevertheless far too high.

“One in four Richmond children aged 11 being overweight or obese is a serious problem.

“People who become obese earlier in life are at greater risk of health problems when they get older.

“We should be doing everything we can to promote healthy eating at school and pre-school.

“Who knows if the NHS in future will be able to bear the burden of increased costs resulting from obesity? Tackling this issue needs to be a top priority.”

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