THE obesity figures for primary school children in East Lancashire have been revealed by the NHS.

One in three youngsters in East Lancashire is obese when they leave primary school, according to new figures.

And the number is even higher in some parts of the region.

Nearly 40 per cent of year six students in Hyndburn are overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school, according to figures from NHS Digital.

The borough also has the highest percentage of reception students who are overweight or obese at 27.2 per cent.

Both the figures for year six students and reception children are above the national average.

In Pendle, 36.5 per cent of its year six students are overweight or obese while one in five children start school overweight.

Blackburn with Darwen has 35.6 per cent of its year six students overweight or obese and 23.5 per cent of its reception pupils.

In Burnley, a third of year six students are overweight or obese and about a quarter of reception children.

In Rossendale, 32 per cent of year six students are overweight or obese and 22.7 per cent of reception pupils.

This is followed by Ribble Valley which has the lowest figures for the region, with 28.1 per cent of year six children overwieth and 22.1 per cent for reception children.

Cllr Miles Parkinson, Hyndburn council’s leader said he was not surprised by the figures.

He said: “The more deprived an area is, the more likely it is to have higher levels of obesity.

“I’d encourage people to exercise more and eat healthier.”

East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said it had invested in weight loss classes through its social prescribing scheme which is run through Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale Community Voluntary Services (CVS), and Hyndburn and Ribble Valley CVS.

Dr Asif Garda, Pendle GP and GP lead for the Pendle locality of NHS East Lancashire CCG said: “ Being overweight is damaging for your health and it is damaging for your children’s health."

Professor Dominic Harrison, director of public health at Blackburn with Darwen council said healthy weight is a ‘key priority’ for the borough.

“We are supporting a food policy for schools, providing cooking skills and knowledge for our families and working with our local businesses to create more healthier options," he said.

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Lancashire County Council’s director for public health and wellbeing, said obesity in primary school children in Lancashire is a ‘serious health issue’.

Dr Karunanithi said: “We work with partners such as football trusts, Lancashire Sport, schools games organisers and the schools sports partnership who deliver a number of sport and activity sessions including initiatives such as the daily mile scheme, where schoolchildren are encouraged to run or walk for a mile each day.”