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
Public service broadcasters are essential and need to be supported, says Lords Committee06/11/2019 13:20:00
The Communications and Digital Committee warns that public service broadcasters (PSBs) need to be better supported to ensure that they can continue to produce high-quality drama and documentaries which reflect and examine UK culture. In return, the broadcasters need to adapt to ensure that they serve and reflect all audiences.
Implications of Withdrawal Agreement Bill examined06/11/2019 12:20:00
The Constitution Committee publishes an interim report on the constitutional issues in the Government’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill. The bill is of the highest constitutional significance, given its intended effect of implementing a Brexit deal.
NHS property services set up to fail06/11/2019 11:25:00
NHS Property Services Limited has made progress in tackling some of the issues that it inherited when it was set up. However, it has struggled to get its tenants to sign rental agreements for the properties they occupy, and it is unacceptable that 70% of its tenants still do not have rental agreements in place.
Churn and political interference hampering major project delivery, says PACAC report05/11/2019 16:47:00
Political pressures and staff turnover can significantly impact the Government’s ability to successfully deliver major infrastructure projects, finds an interim report published
Court reforms slow to check impact of changes05/11/2019 14:25:00
HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has again fallen behind on critical reforms. HMCTS is now 3 years into its ambitious £1.2 billion programme to modernise the courts, which plan to change the way people access justice by digitising paper-based services, moving some types of cases online, introducing virtual hearings, closing courts and centralising customer services.
Committee calls for measures to help avoid next corporate collapse05/11/2019 11:25:00
The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee yesterday wrote to Andrea Leadsom (PDF 77 KB), the Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with a series of recommendations on corporate governance, executive pay and bonuses, and audit reform following its recent public evidence sessions examining the collapse of Thomas Cook.
UK electoral law poses "serious and unnecessary risks"04/11/2019 14:25:00
Current UK electoral law poses serious and unnecessary risks for everybody involved, concludes Electoral Law: the urgent need for reform, a report published recently (01 November 2019) by the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC).
More UK Government support critical to success of City and Growth Deals in Wales, say MPs01/11/2019 16:25:00
Deals are beneficial but the Government must provide adequate funding
Human rights of many people with a learning disability and/or autism are being breached in mental health hospitals01/11/2019 15:25:00
Committee calls for overhaul of inspections and changes to Mental Health Act to protect those detained from “horrific reality”. Number 10 unit with Cabinet level leadership required to urgently drive forward reform.