Barking and Dagenham has the highest rate of childhood obesity levels in London

Children taking part in The Daily Mile at Mile End stadium. Picture: Carmen Valino

Children taking part in The Daily Mile at Mile End stadium. Picture: Carmen Valino - Credit: Archant

The government is urging schools to get pupils walking a mile a day in ambitious plans to halve childhood obesity by 2030.

Barking and Dagenham has the highest rate of childhood obesity levels in London, with more than a quarter (28.5 per cent) of Year Six pupils considered obese.

The Daily Mile initiative is just one in a package of measures, which includes calorie labels on menus, the banning of energy drink sales to children, and restrictions on adverts for unhealthy foods.

According to an NHS report from February, children in the borough aged 10 to 11 are more than twice as likely to be obese than children in Richmond upon Thames, which recorded the lowest obesity rates.

Dr Yvonne Doyle, London’s director at Public Health England (PHE), said: “Tackling obesity is a priority for London.

“The solution is well within our reach if we work together. When it comes to our children there are no excuses – we owe it to them to give them a healthy start to life.”