THE NUMBER of obese children in Reading Borough has marginally slimmed, official figures have revealed.

However, latest statistics show that nearly one in five (18.5 per cent) of year 6 children were measured as obese.

It means Reading bucks the national average of 20 per cent, but council chiefs remain concerned about the alarming number of overweight children.

A council spokesman said: "These figures highlight the importance of awareness raising campaigns, education programmes and physical activity opportunities for children and adults, all noted in Reading’s Healthy Weight Strategy.

"As a result of the reduced national government funding of public health, the council is increasingly having to target health services to reach those who need it most."

Reading Borough Council runs weight management services for both adults and children.

They are set to continue for the next six months.

However, due to hefty government cuts, the services could face the axe in the future.

The spokesman added: "The weight management courses commissioned by the Council for both children and adults will continue for the next six months and will be reviewed after this date.

"There will also be provision of online advice.

"Going forward we will be looking at how we can offer integrated wellness services that incorporate weight management support for adults and children in the future.”

Meanwhile, between 2014/15 and 2016/17, 35.3 per cent of year 6 children in the borough were recorded as overweight.

In Wokingham Borough, 27 per cent of pupils in the same age group were overweight while 13.8 per cent were obese.

There was a slightly higher percentage in West Berkshire, with 27.8 per cent of year 6 pupils recorded as overweight and 14 per cent obese.