Dad dot info
DAD.info form. Ask questions, get answers
DAD.info | Opinion | Latest News | Experts attack Government’s ‘watered-down’ Childhood Obesity Plan

Experts attack Government’s ‘watered-down’ Childhood Obesity Plan

Leading doctors have criticised a “weak” government strategy to tackle childhood obesity in England.

Reuters/ Tim Wimborne

 

Health experts have condemned the Government’s “watered-down” childhood obesity strategy.

A new plan to tackle childhood obesity includes a voluntary target for manufacturers to cut sugar in children’s food and drink by 20%, and a drive for every primary school child to exercise for an hour a day.

The government’s plan asks the food and drink industry to cut 5% of the sugar in products popular with children over the next year and raise that to 20% over the next four years.

The strategy document makes clear that manufacturers that reduce sugar in their products will escape the sugar tax, which is not due to come in for two years.

The money accrued by the levy on sugary drinks will go to fund breakfast clubs and sport.

The British Medical Association called the 20% target “pointless” and said ministers had “rowed back” on promises.

Curbs on junk food advertising do not form part of the document, despite repeated calls from health campaigners.

Schools will be asked to give pupils an extra 30 minutes a day of physical activity, and parents and carers will be encouraged to get their children moving for a further 30 minutes at home.

The strategy contains neither of the two measure that Public Health England advised would have the most impact on the problem of childhood obesity.

One third of children leaving primary school are overweight or obese and at risk of a lifetime of health problems which could include diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

When tasked with recommending measures to improve the epidemic, Public Health England backed a sugar tax and reductions in sugar content of foods.

They also prioritised two other measures that were not included in the Government’s plan. These included banning promotions on junk food in supermarkets and unhealthy offerings aimed at children in restaurants and cafes. It also suggested restricting advertising of unhealthy food to kids through family TV programmes and social media.

In their defence, government officials said they opted for a voluntary sugar reduction scheme over legislation so the food industry could start taking steps to reduce sugar immediately, rather than waiting for the law to be changed.

The Obesity Health Alliance, a coalition of 33 charities, medical royal colleges and campaign groups, said the plan fell “disappointingly short of what is needed”.

What are your thoughts?

Related entries

Should Stella Creasy, MP take her baby into parliament?

Should Stella Creasy, MP take her baby into parliament?

Returning to work after children is tough for everyone, whether you are on shared parental leave or returning after a brief paternity break. It can often make life choices for you, whether you decide to return part-time, go freelance or start paying heavy childcare...

Warning: UK Parents toying with their children’s safety

Warning: UK Parents toying with their children’s safety

Parents have been warned that children in the UK are at risk of death or serious injury from the sale of unsafe toys through various online marketplaces. Health and safety experts from CE Safety say parents should ensure they are not buying cheap, unsafe or fake toys...

Warning: UK Parents toying with their children’s safety

Rule of Six

New Coronavirus rules mean when seeing friends or family you don’t live with you should meet up in groups of six or less. For now, that means it is illegal for my whole family to meet another family inside or outside. In some ways we are lucky, we are only a family of...

Latest entries

How divorcing couples can save thousands this Christmas

How divorcing couples can save thousands this Christmas

Every day at Dad.info we talk with parents who are struggling through costly court hearings. We strongly believe that mediation is a route that can take the conflict out of separation. Hands up who would like £500 towards mediation sessions? Too Late for Court...

5 simple ways to boost your health today

5 simple ways to boost your health today

Living through the last couple of years has been rough on not only our bodies but also our brains. It was also recently reported that life expectancy in some parts of England has fallen- even before Covid. However, there is good news. Up to 80% of chronic disease is...

Should Stella Creasy, MP take her baby into parliament?

Should Stella Creasy, MP take her baby into parliament?

Returning to work after children is tough for everyone, whether you are on shared parental leave or returning after a brief paternity break. It can often make life choices for you, whether you decide to return part-time, go freelance or start paying heavy childcare...

Pin It on Pinterest