Childhood obesity rates in Essex are still above pre-pandemic levels.

NHS figures show 3,370 of 16,665 Year 6 pupils measured in Essex were classed as obese or severely obese in 2022-23.

It meant one in five 10 and 11-year-olds were in the highest two BMI categories as they prepared to leave primary school.

This was down from 21 per cent the year before but above pre-pandemic levels of 19.6 per cent in 2019-20.

Across England, 22.7 per cent of Year 6 pupils were obese or severely obese – down slightly on the previous year, but still above pre-pandemic figures.

The Obesity Health Alliance said children living in the most deprived areas (30 per cent) were more than twice as likely to be obese as those living in the least deprived (13 per cent).

A government spokesman said: "By investing £320million a year in school sports we are promoting healthier lifestyles through physical activity and through schemes like Healthy Start, which encourage a healthy diet for families from lower-income households."