Childhood Obesity Strategy
Last month we saw the release of the government’s long awaited Childhood Obesity Strategy; which aims to reduce England’s rate of childhood obesity over the next ten years.
Today nearly a third of children aged 2 to 15 are overweight or obese and younger generations are becoming obese at earlier ages and staying obese longer into adulthood. Not only is obesity linked with conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease; but the economic costs are great too. We are spending more each year on the treatment of obesity and diabetes than we do on the police and fire service combined!
Some of the plans outlined within the Childhood Obesity Strategy include:
- Setting targets for food manufacturers to cut sugar in the foods that children eat the most, by reducing sugar content in products, reducing portion sizes or shifting consumer choice towards lower sugar alternatives
- Helping all children to enjoy an hour of physical activity every day, either through PE, extra-curricular clubs, active lessons or other sport and physical activity events at school
- One of the key pledges is to help improve school food, specifically by updating the School Food Standards, to ensure they are up to date with the latest advice on sugar and fibre. For now there won’t be any changes to your child’s school meals; but once the updated School Food Standards are released, our team of nutritionists will be involved in ensuring our menus are compliant with these whilst ensuring your child still enjoys a choice of healthy and balanced school lunches!
These actions, along with many others in the strategy have been described by the government as “the start of a conversation, rather than the final word”. We will have to wait and see if these plans make a real difference to the current issue of childhood obesity, or whether more work will need to be done.