Childhood obesity: time for action
EQ Investors (EQ) welcomes the publication yesterday of a report on childhood obesity by the influential parliamentary Health and Social Care Committee.
This report outlines key areas requiring urgent action to tackle the UK’s childhood obesity crisis, in anticipation of the publication of a refreshed version of the Government’s childhood obesity plan later this year.
With more than 20,000 children classed as severely obese in the final year of primary school, the report supports a number of recommendations made by the Centre for Social Justice in its ‘Off The Scales: Tackling England’s childhood obesity crisis’ report. Published in late 2017, and sponsored by EQ, the comprehensive report called for collective, whole-systems approach to address obesity across the country. The necessity of this joined-up approach was reiterated throughout the committee’s inquiry.
In addition, the committee calls for a 9pm watershed on junk food advertising, a limit on the proliferation of unhealthy food outlets and a need to focus on ‘healthy lifestyles’.
The committee’s report comes hot on the heels of Local Government Association (LGA) research, warning of a child obesity ‘time bomb’, with the number of 10 and 11-year-olds in year six classed as severely obese, almost double that of those in reception.
With children aged five from the poorest income groups still twice as likely to be obese as their most well-off counterparts, we must act now to take action and help families lead healthier lives or we risk a lost generation of children whose physical and mental health will be affected as they face a lifetime of struggling with being overweight or obese.