2½ - 5 years

Research shows that when children start school a healthy weight then they are more likely to stay a healthy weight. Having a healthy, balanced diet, including eating appropriate sized portions of food, getting adequate sleep and physical activity can all contribute to your child being a healthier weight when they start school.

Why is it important?

Childhood obesity has been increasing in recent years and in general people are becoming obese at an earlier age. This can lead to being at greater risk of poor physical and mental health and can also impact on children’s learning, wellbeing and development. In Hackney approximately one quarter of children start school overweight or obese which is much higher than many areas of the UK. Obesity is caused by many things but at its root is taking in more energy through food than is used through activity.

First point of contact

If you have concerns about your child’s weight the best person to talk to is your GP. Alternatively you could contact:

Best Start with HENRY service

Local services

School nursing service

If you have a child in reception class (ages 4 and 5) or year 6 (ages 10 and 11) you will receive a letter about their school height and weight check as part of the National Child Measurement Programme. Height and weight measurements will be carried out by fully trained NHS practitioners and will be carried out sensitively, with your child fully clothed.

When your child is in Reception class the school nursing service will usually carry out a ‘school entry health check’ this will include checking your child’s vision. Find information about the School Nursing Service

Free school meals

Parenting and mental health support

National resources

Preparing for school

Healthy Weight


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This page was last modified on: 6 May 2021