This table provides metadata for the actual indicator available from UK statistics closest to the corresponding global SDG indicator. Please note that even when the global SDG indicator is fully available from UK statistics, this table should be consulted for information on national methodology and other UK-specific metadata information.
Prevalence of malnutrition (weight for height >+2 or <-2 standard deviation from the median of the WHO Child Growth Standards) for children aged 4 by type (wasting and overweight) and prevalence of underweight, overweight, and obesity for children aged 4 to 5 years using BMI classifications
Prevalence of malnutrition based on WHO Child Growth Standards is reported under the WHO Child Growth Standards series. This is an estimate of the proportion of the population whose habitual food consumption does not provide the dietary energy levels that are required to maintain a normal active and healthy life. It is expressed as a percentage. Prevalence of malnutrition based on Body Mass Index (BMI) classification data is reported under the BMI classifcations series.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
|Unit of measurement||
Malnutrition is split into overwight and wasting types. These are assessed based on WHO child growth standrds and BMI classifications, depending on data availability. Wasting type can be aligned with underweight BMI classifications. See Calculations and Other information sections for more details.
BMI is defined as weight (in kg) divided by height squared (in m2). For England, Scotland, and Wales, BMI classifications are defined using the British 1990 Growth Reference where underweight includes those with a BMI less than or equal to the 2nd centile, overweight includes those with a BMI of greater than or equal to the 85th and less than the 95th centile and obesity includes those with a BMI greater than or equal to the 95th centile. The exception is Wales who categorises underweight as those with a BMI less than (but not equal to) the 2nd centile. For Northern Ireland, BMI classifications are defined using the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) guidelines. For more information, please refer to the original source links in the Sources tab.
Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) is the official measure of relative deprivation. It is expressed either in deciles (1 to 10) or quintiles (1 to 5), with 1 representing the most deprived category. It is calculated slightly differently between the different UK nations, so direct comparisons are not advised. For more details refer to the original source links in the Sources tab. For England, this variable is based on child residency post code, and for the WHO Child Growth Standards series entries without a post code were excluded from the analysis prior to the period 2021 to 2022. For the 2021 to 2022 school year the percentage for these entries is made available as "Unable to categorise". As a result, the total IMD sample number does not add up to the total sample size.
Rural/urban classification - the Urban variable includes all settlements with over 10,000 population. The Rural variable includes all settlements classed as town and fringe, village, and hamlet and isolated dwellings. This variable is based on child residency post code, so entries without a post code are described as "Unable to categorise".
Sex; Index of Multiple Deprivation; Ethnic group; Urban or rural classification. The latter is only available for the data which uses the WHO Child Growth Standards from academic year 2013 to 2014. Where ethnicity is unknown, not stated or missing, they have been combined into the group “Not stated / Invalid”.
For BMI classifications, source data may contain additional disaggregations (e.g., by health board) that are not displayed on this page but can be found via the source links.
Data for Wales for the period 2020 to 2021 is available from Public Health Wales Child Measurement Programme for two health boards – Swansea Bay and Aneurin Bevan.
The analysis for the data using the WHO Child Growth Standards was done by running the NCMP data through a bespoke R package 'anthro, developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) specifically for supplying Sustainable Development Goals related figures.
The prevalence represents percentage from the unweighted sample size.
The dataset variables used for the analysis were age in months, height, sex, weight, index of multiple deprivation (originally deciles, and recoded into quintiles), ethnic group, and rural/urban indicator (recoded into a binary classification).
For Wales BMI classification series, percentage of obese was subtracted from percentage of overweight or obese to provide the figure for percentage of overweight that is reported here.
For Northern Ireland BMI classification series, percentage Obese was subtracted from percentage Overweight or Obese to provide the figure for percentage of overweight that is reported here.
For England Obese BMI classification, in the 2021 to 2022 release only, "Obese" values were calcuated by adding the "Living with obesity" and "Living with severe obesity" numbers, and dividing by the "Number of children measured" to obtain the prevalence.
No other calculations were performed in the data acquisition of BMI classifications data as appropriate data was readily available in the final format specified by this indicator. For insight into the details of potential calculations please refer to the original source metadata or source contact.
For Northern Ireland, only data from the past 5 years are available via the source link. However, older data and data for some disaggregations not available via the source link (i.e., sex and some IMD quintiles) can be requested directly from Department of Health Northern Ireland using the relevant contact details under the Sources tab.
The 2021 to 2022 NCMP was the first data collection since the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic that was unaffected by school closures and other public health measures. The participation rate was 93% of all children that were eligible to take part.
Data collection for the 2020 to 2021 period was interrupted across many parts of Wales due to school closures and prioritisation of resources in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, an overall figure for Wales is not available but data for two health boards can be accessed from Public Health Wales Child Measurement Programme.
This indicator is being used as an approximation of the UN SDG Indicator. Where possible, we will work to identify or develop UK data to meet the global indicator specification. This indicator has been identified in collaboration with topic experts.
|Data last updated||04 May 2023|
|Metadata last updated||04 May 2023|