NCMP - Growing Well Growing Healthy



The NCMP is the National Child Measurement Programme which is an NHS initiative to measure children in reception and in year 6. This process often highlights if a child’s weight is above where it needs to be at this point in their lives. In Stockton, this information is passed to the NHS Growing Well Growing Healthy team which can offer support and advice on how to bring children’s weight in line with their natural growth. It is often reported that parents can seem angry at receiving information from the screening team. However these letters are not designed to offend; and in fact inform parents of a potentially serious series of health issues with their child. The NCMP screening process assesses the BMI of young people which is a scientific process to assess their natural growth. The Growing Well growing Healthy Team in Stockton on Tees can work with families to reduce the health risks associated with being overweight in childhood. If you would like more information on BMI click here to find out more.

Why Is NCMP important?

With 1 in 5 children being overweight or very overweight in the UK, the NCMP can inform parents and carers that some changes should be made to help children to be healthier. Current findings from NCMP tell us that 1 in 3 children will leave primary school overweight or very overweight as they head into high school. With overweight children being at higher risk of mental health problems, bullying and long term physical health problem, Stockton-on-Tees identifies the importance of NCMP at what it can do to make young lives better.

I received a letter to explain my child was overweight.

Receiving a letter or phone call from the NHS to explain your child is overweight can be difficult to hear. This generation of young people are more susceptible to excessive weight gain than any other before them. This is due to the increase of negative internal and external influences which can impact on children’s lifestyles. The results of the measurements are not a reflection on parenting, however parenting, along with subtle changes and support can make lifelong changes to ensure children live healthier lives.

If you receive a letter or call about your child being overweight, it should not be ignored. As previously mentioned, children today are more susceptible to weight gain. The Growing Well Growing Healthy Team is a unique service, only available here in the borough of Stockton-on-Tees and can work with you to help take action. To find out more about the Growing Well Growing Healthy Team and access free support, click here

What does the letter say?

If you have been contacted by the NHS via telephone or letter, they will tell you one of four things. This is what they will say what it means:

Your Child is Underweight:

If you are informed that your child is underweight, it would be recommended to speak to your GP or School Nurse about what this means and what help you are able to receive.

Your Child is Normal Weight:

This means that you child is within the healthy range of body mass against their age, sex and height. If you have concerns that your child is however inactive or does not eat the right foods, then you can follow the advice from this website; or look at ways of getting healthier by following the NHS Change4Life.

Our sections on Eating Healthier (insert hyperlink) and our Getting Active (insert hyperlink) sections can give you some great ideas on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Your child is Overweight.

If your child is considered overweight then they are currently holding more body mass then they should for their age, height and sex. This means that your child has a centile between above the 91st. Above this centile, some intervention can be done with the Growing Well Growing Healthy team which may help your child reduce their centile under 91st.

To do this a child may just have to maintain their weight as they grow. As they get older and taller, their weight may even out and your child may effectively grow out of any weight based problems in later life. However, depending on age, some weight loss may be recommended and we cannot fully rely on natural growth alone to become a healthy weight.

Your child is Very Overweight

A letter explaining your child is very overweight means that your child has an excessive level of mass higher than their natural growth. This is a centile over 96 and it would be highly recommended for you to make a referral into the Growing Well Growing Healthy service. Here the lifestyle practitioners and nurses can offer support and intervention to help reduce your child’s weight and allow them to grow healthy.

If your child is very overweight, it is important to work harder to adopt a healthier lifestyle. The research tells us that children who are overweight now will likely go into adolescents and adulthood overweight. This can lead to poor health as they get older including heart disease, diabetes, mobility issues and poor mental health.

Do I tell my children they are overweight?

Telling your child on the outcome of NCMP is up to you. If you decide to tell your child they are overweight then this should done carefully and compassionately. Within your conversation you may want to discuss making healthier lifestyle changes as a family.

If you decide you do not want your child to know they are overweight, then subtle changes to their diet and lifestyle can make big differences. A referral to Growing Well Growing Healthy means our Lifestyle Practitioners can discretely discuss with you the progress of their weight and how they are growing. They can also offer advice and guidance in achieving a healthier lifestyle for the whole family.

What can I do if my child is considered overweight?

If you are in the borough of Stockton-On-Tees you can access the NHS Growing Well Growing Healthy service. This team is made up of highly experienced and dedicated Lifestyle Practitioners who offer a menu of choices to suit your needs. From nutrition to activity; and lifestyle to home, the NHS Lifestyle Practitioners bring a non-judgemental, empathetic approach to getting children and families healthier.

The NCMP is the National Child Measurement Programme which assesses height and weight in children in reception year and in year 6. The data can then be used to support public health initiatives to make young people healthier. In Stockton the NCMP results are shared with the Growing Well Growing Healthy team which helps families to reduce their children’s BMI’s and live healthier and happier lives.

The NCMP can tell us so much. From health inequalities to identifying new trends in children’s weight gain/loss. This means that public health can target specific areas in making it healthier. This could be community based projects which includes working closely with schools, businesses and services to create healthier population. The NCMP will also highlight whether your child is underweight, of normal weight or overweight. If your child is overweight a referral into Growing Well Growing Healthy could help in your child living a healthier, more active and happier life.

The NCMP is a national initiative to identify differences in health in children. The programme looks to weigh and measure every child in the UK who is in reception and year 6 and is undertaken by the NHS Screening Team. Prior to the assessment you will receive a letter from the school explaining that your child is to be screened. If you do not wish for your child to be screened, the opt-out attachment to the letter should be returned prior to the screening date.

Helpful Resources

Click the resources below for more information on the NCMP!

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