CHILDREN in all 216 Somerset primary schools are being weighed and measured in an attempt to cut childhood obesity.

Parents and carers of reception and Year 6 pupils will receive letters about the programme - and can opt out of the measurements over the summer term if they wish.

The initiative comes as figures show 19.9 per cent of four and five-year-olds and 28.6 per cent of ten and 11-year-olds in Somerset are overweight or very overweight.

In June parents will receive a confidential feedback letter with details of their child’s weight and advice about maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

School nurses will be on hand to answer parents’ questions and signpost to useful resources.

Trudi Grant, Somerset director of public health at Somerset County Council, said: "It’s fantastic that all the county’s primary schools are involved and I’m sure Somerset’s parents will embrace the programme.

"It allows us to monitor how healthy Somerset children are and offer support to families and schools to help them achieve a healthy weight.

"With the results we can tailor support where it is needed most."

Some schools are running a 'healthy futures' programme and a 'golden mile' initiative, with children walking, jogging or running round a track on campus.