New data reveals that 18.3 percent of Year 6 schoolchildren in Sutton are deemed to be obese amid national rates prompting a ‘worrying wake-up call’.

The figures obtained by the Local Government Association (LGA) also consider 3.4 percent of those in the same class to be severely obese.

While the borough has the fourth-lowest percentage in London – behind Richmond (13.1), Kingston (15.4), and Bromley (17.3) – the number of those measured has continued rising since 2013.

This month, a Sutton Council spokesman said: “Weight management in children is a complex issue with a huge number of factors affecting an individual’s weight.

“Our school nursing service plays an active role in running weight management clinics, and we continue to promote Change4Life, leisure centres and other schemes designed to encourage young people to exercise more and be active.

“The local authority works closely with other professionals, as well as parents and children to encourage children to lead healthy lives.”

The 389 – or 18.3 percent – of Year 6 pupils measured as obese is up from 351 in 2013 while the percentage has dropped slightly from 18.5 percent.

But this still remains below both London (23.6) and England (20) averages, according to Public Health England (PHE).

For severe obesity figures among Year 6 pupils, Sutton ranks fifth-lowest in London at 3.44 percent - behind Richmond (1.92), Kensington & Chelsea (2.07), Kingston (2.56), and Bromley (2.73).

This is again lower than the wider benchmarks in both the capital and across the nation, while currently there is only data available in this category for 2016/17.

Now the Local Government Association (LGA), which represents 370 councils in England and Wales, has issued a warning amid the overall rates.

A total of 22,646 children - out of 556,452 - between 10 and 11 in Year 6 are 'severely obese', according to the latest figures from PHE's National Childhood Measurement Programme (NCMP).

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the body’s community wellbeing board, said: “These new figures on severely obese children, who are in the most critical overweight category, are a further worrying wake-up call for urgent joined-up action.

“The UK is already the most obese nation in western Europe, with one in three 10 and 11-year-olds and one in five four and five-year-olds classed as overweight or obese, respectively.

“Cuts to councils’ public health grants by government are having a significant impact on the many prevention and early intervention services carried out by councils to combat child obesity.

"This short-sighted approach risks causing NHS costs to snowball due to the ill health consequences of obesity in our younger generation."

After the introduction of new sugar tax legislation, Cllr Seccombe urged the Government to publish more details of its obesity strategy.

The analysis by the LGA for 2016/17, after the body obtained figures from PHE's NCMP, was released on May 29.

To see the figures, click here.