Parliamentary Committees and Public Enquiries
Childhood obesity demands bold Government action committee report finds
Health Committee publishes report saying the scale and consequences of childhood obesity demand bold and urgent action from Government.
- Report: Childhood obesity - brave and bold action
- Report: Childhood obesity - brave and bold action (PDF 683KB)
- Inquiry: Childhood obesity
- Health Committee
Treating obesity and its consequences is currently estimated to cost the NHS £5.1bn every year. It is one of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes, which accounts for spending of £8.8 billion a year, almost 9% of the NHS budget. The wider costs of obesity to society are estimated to be around three times this amount. By contrast, the UK spends only around £638 million on obesity prevention programmes. Ongoing cuts to public health budgets within the spending review will put prevention services under further strain.
Physical activity is enormously beneficial whatever children’s weight and increasing exercise alone will not tackle the rising toll of obesity. The Committee points to the clear evidence that measures to improve the food environment to reduce calorie intake must lie at the heart of a successful strategy.
The report highlights nine areas for improvement. They are:
- Strong controls on price promotions of unhealthy food and drink
- Tougher controls on marketing and advertising of unhealthy food and drink
- A centrally led reformulation programme to reduce sugar in food and drink
- A sugary drinks tax on full sugar soft drinks, in order to help change behaviour, with all proceeds targeted to help those children at greatest risk of obesity
- Labelling of single portions of products with added sugar to show sugar content in teaspoons
- Improved education and information about diet
- Universal school food standards
- Greater powers for local authorities to tackle the environment leading to obesity
- Early intervention to offer help to families of children affected by obesity and further research into the most effective interventions
Chair of the Health Committee, Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, says:
"One third of children leaving primary school are overweight or obese, and the most deprived children are twice as likely to be obese than the least deprived. This has serious consequences for both their current and future health and wellbeing and we cannot continue to fail these children. There are many causes and no one single or simplistic approach will provide the answer. We therefore urge the Prime Minister to make a positive and lasting difference to children’s health and life chances through bold and wide ranging measures within his childhood obesity strategy.
We believe that if the Government fails to act, the problem will become far worse. A full package of bold measures is required and should be implemented as soon as possible. We believe that a sugary drinks tax should be included in these measures with all proceeds clearly directed to improving our children’s health."
Latest News from
Parliamentary Committees and Public Enquiries
Concerns about the supply of pharmaceuticals to Northern Ireland30/10/2020 15:33:00
The EU Environment Sub-Committee writes to Edward Agar MP, Minister at the Department for Health and Social Care with their concerns for the supply of pharmaceuticals to Northern Ireland from 1 January 2020.
Committee asks what increasingly digital lives will mean for our wellbeing30/10/2020 11:38:00
The COVID-19 Committee launches its new inquiry on the impact of digitalisation.
DIT and UKEF “not demonstrated progress in tackling big challenges” they now face29/10/2020 15:33:00
It is now four years since the Department for International Trade (DIT) was formed to deliver the UK’s independent trade policy following the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
Nuclear regulator congratulated on its preparations for the end of transition29/10/2020 13:33:00
The EU Environment Sub-Committee writes to Baroness Stedman-Scott, the Department for Work and Pensions Minister, regarding the Office for Nuclear Regulation’s (ONR’s) preparations for the end of the transition period.
Women and Equalities Committee launches new inquiry into Gender Recognition Act reform and more29/10/2020 11:38:00
Do the Government’s proposed reforms on gender recognition go far enough? What changes need to be made to the Gender Recognition Act and other laws to improve transgender equality? What about wider reforms? These are the main questions which the Women and Equalities Committee will be considering in this major new inquiry, due to report in summer 2021.
New Inquiry: The Spending Review and Local Government Finance28/10/2020 15:33:00
The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has launched a new inquiry into the spending review and local Government Finance.
Conduct Committee reports on training for members and investigations of ex-MPs28/10/2020 11:38:00
The Conduct Committee yesterday, Tuesday 27 October, published a report proposing that it should be mandatory for members of the House of Lords to attend “Valuing Everyone” training, the course which was introduced as part of the drive to tackle bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct in Parliament.
Chair comments on Secretary of State letters on Covid-19 loans & financial support27/10/2020 15:33:00
Darren Jones, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, has commented on responses from Alok Sharma, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS) on concerns regarding Bounce Back Business Loans (BBLS), the Future Fund, and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
Legacy proposals ‘unilateral and unhelpful’, say MPs27/10/2020 11:38:00
MPs on the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee have branded the UK Government’s proposals to tackle Troubles legacy cases as ‘unilateral and unhelpful’ and condemned the lack of consultation with victims’ groups in an interim report published yesterday.