Childhood obesity smallChildhood obesity is a growing problem and the need to educate children on the importance of a healthy diet and regular exercise is vital.

One way of detailing the prevalence of obesity, as well as keeping track of local and national trends, is through the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) – which monitors the weight and height of children in reception and Year 6 annually. Parents are also provided with feedback, so they can be supported in making changes if necessary.

Since April 2013, local authorities have had the responsibility of delivering the programme – data has to be returned to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

The new, updated guidance for the 2013/14 school year sets out the best practice for implementing the programme, including what to do before the measurements are taken, completing them and processing the data. The NCMP, which is overseen by Public Health England, can be downloaded at