Public Health Wales statistics show that 17% of children in the Vale of Glamorgan aged between 4 and 5 years are either overweight or obese.
The worst area in the Vale of Glamorgan for childhood obesity is Barry and the best areas are in the rural parts of the Vale of Glamorgan (the white areas on the map).
Penarth and Sully have comparatively low rates of obesity amongst 4-5 year olds with North East Penarth being comparable with rates in the healthy rural areas.
The figures come from the Child Measurement Programme for Wales 2015/15 which weighted and tested 30,000 children throughout the country
The figures for Wales as a whole present a significant challenge for the Labour-run Welsh Government which has been responsible for public health in Wales for 17 years . Across the country, 26.2% of Welsh children are classed as overweight or obese, compared to 21.9% in England in this age group.
In a press release, the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board is spinning the statistics as good news and even gone as far as to claim that ‘Health professionals in the Vale of Glamorgan are welcoming the figures from Public Health Wales’ and trumpeting that “Vale of Glamorgan has the lowest childhood obesity rate in Wales ” – but in fact a 17% rate of childhood overweight/obesity is a significant health problem with potential long-term implications.
The child obesity rate in Barry is every bit as bad as in some of the most deprived areas of of the country . The Cardiff and Vale University Health Board says “ We know that deprived areas have higher rates of obesity and we aim to give every child the opportunity for a happy and healthy childhood and, in turn, a happy and healthy future.”