Epsom and Ewell has the lowest rate of obese four and five-year-olds in England for the second year in a row.

Data from NHS Digital for the National Child Measurement Programme 2016/17 show only 4.6 per cent of reception pupils are obese (with a body mass index in the highest 95 per cent), compared to the average of 9.6 per cent.

Neighbouring Kingston has the second lowest rate, at 4.8 per cent.

Epsom and Ewell also has the second-lowest rate of obesity in year six pupils (aged 10 and 11), with 9.1 per cent, compared to the average of 20 per cent and only beaten by Elmbridge at 8.8 per cent.

Councillor Barry Nash, chairman of Epsom and Ewell Council's Community and Wellbeing Committee, said: “The council promotes healthy activity for young people within the borough and has a range of initiatives including free tennis, basketball and soccer facilities.

“Many of our parks have free outside gym equipment and multi-user games areas specifically for young people and we are currently looking at the possibility of further increasing our free skate/BMX park provision.

“We maintain a strong relationship with local sports clubs and with schools, ensuring sporting opportunities are highlighted; this could be why Epsom and Ewell are regularly at the top of the table in the Surrey Youth Games, despite being the smallest borough in the county.”

This year’s data compare to three per cent and 12.3 per cent from 2015/16, when the borough again had the lowest rate of obese reception pupils.

Surrey County Council’s senior public health lead and dietician Jennifer Smith said: “We were thrilled to see the rates; they’re amazing. We’ve been putting a lot of effort into what we’ve been doing.

“We’ve written a healthy weight strategy, which uses a whole-system approach, including families, trading standards, countryside and children’s services. We’re working on an action plan to work together to make sure that planning can, when making decisions, expand provision for walking and cycling, and use green spaces that we’re lucky to have in Surrey.”

Public Health England estimates only 23 per cent of boys and 20 per cent of girls meet the national recommended level of physical activity – an hour a day.

Ms Smith said: “We run Alive and Kicking sessions with schools and families and have had good uptake. It’s a 12-week programme for people aged five to 19, supporting healthy eating, physical activity and behavioural change.

“We also work with parents of under-fives, in our Henry (Healthy Eating and Nutrition for the Really Young) programme, looking at healthy eating and parenting skills.

“And these results won’t make us stop – we’ll keep going. It’s a real priority for us.”