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King's Fund - Response to new childhood overweight and obesity statistics

The King’s Fund has responded to the National Child Measurement Programme data for England for 2016/17, which has found that over a quarter of reception children were overweight or obese.

David Buck, Senior Fellow in Public Health and Inequalities at The King’s Fund, said: ‘The government needs to demonstrate its commitment to children’s health by setting out a stronger strategy for how it and others can reduce the percentage of children who are overweight and obese. While progress on reducing the amount of sugar in soft drinks has been a welcome step forward, these are problems where a ‘pick-and-mix’ approach to policies is nowhere near enough to address one of the biggest public health challenges of our time.

‘The latest data also shows that inequalities are widening, with children from the most deprived areas more than twice as likely to be obese as those from the least deprived.  At a time when action is badly needed, councils are struggling to find funds to support childhood obesity prevention and the government’s childhood obesity plan is over-reliant on voluntary measures and working with industry, despite its welcome commitment to the sugar levy.’

Obesity prevalence increases in reception age primary school children

Notes to editors

For further information, or to request an interview, please contact the Press and Public Affairs team on 020 7307 2585 (if calling out of hours, please ring 07584 146035).

The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.

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