Almost one in 10 children as young as four and five is obese, figures reveal.
Data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) shows 9.5% of children starting school in 2011-12 were found to be clinically obese. One in five Year Six students was classed as excessively overweight.
On the whole, almost a third of children between the ages of two and 15 fell into the categories of overweight or obese.
The research highlights the extent of the obesity problem in England. As many as two-thirds of men and 58% of women are classed as overweight or obese.
The HSCIC has revealed there was a significant rise in the number of obese adults between 1993 and 2011. Twenty years ago, 13% of men and 16% of women were classed as obese compared with respective figures of 24% and 26% in 2011.
HSCIC chief executive Tim Straughan said most people accept obesity is a major problem in England.
"This annual report is important in bringing clarity to how this actually affects people, patients and the NHS - from the weighing scales to the operating theatre," he said.
"Based on the Body Mass Index measurement, the proportion of adults estimated to be of a normal weight has dropped substantially since this report's time series began in 1993."
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Copyright Press Association 2013