National Child Measurement Programme and Weight Management

Your Healthy Family Team is able to support you with monitoring your child’s growth and development; this includes maintaining a healthy weight.

There’s more to weight than just a measurement. It involves looking at your child’s growth and development, diet, eating habits, portion sizes, fluid intake and physical activity to name a few.

Weight is one measure of wellbeing that can be helpful in identifying health problems both now and in the future.

How does my Healthy Family Team record my child’s weight?

To begin with, you may weigh your baby in child health clinics and record their weight in the child’s health red book. Weight is recorded on a ‘centile chart’ which allows us to assess your child’s rate of growth and discuss infant feeding, including introducing solid foods.

We will assess your child’s Body Mass Index at the child’s 2-3 year integrated review, reception and in year 6 of primary school during the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP).

The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) is a national scheme developed by Public Health England and delivered through the School Nursing Service, which in Essex is part of the Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service

As part of that we write to parents whose children the programme identifies are either under or overweight for their age, sex and height to offer access to the wealth of free support and guidance available in Essex.

While we understand it can be upsetting for parents to hear that their child is overweight or underweight, we hope they appreciate the information is intended to help identify where positive changes can be made and provide the support to make those changes.

Guidance and helpful information

To keep your child at a healthy weight, you might wish to consider their:

  • Portion sizes – is your child eating too much or too little?
  • Level of physical activity – are they doing enough exercise through sport and playing?
  • Importance of family meal times – does your family eat together?
  • Sugar intake – do you know how much sugar is in your child’s food and what they should be having?
  • Drinks and snacks – do they eat a varied diet?

Please see the links to the right for more info and useful advice regarding your child’s weight.

How we can help

We work alongside GPs and other services to help children who have concerns regarding their weight.

We use BMI calculations and centile charts to identify concerns. See the links to the right for more information.

We provide support and information regarding healthy eating and lifestyles and can direct you to further information/services.

What happens next?

If you have concerns about your child’s weight or would like some guidance around your child’s diet, you can contact your Healthy Family Team for support and information.