RCPCH responds to the Health Select Committee's follow up report on childhood obesity

The Health Select Committee have released a follow up report on childhood obesity, for which RCPCH provided written evidence. The report criticises the Government for not including several key areas for action that could have made their childhood obesity plan more effective, and calls on Minister to to set clear targets for reducing overall levels of childhood obesity.

Responding to the Health Select Committee’s follow up report on childhood obesity, Professor Russell Viner, Officer for Health Promotion at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said:

“The fight against obesity is going to be long and hard – and the Health Committee is right; without action across a number of areas, any impact of individual policies will be minimal.  The sugar tax is a significant step in the right direction, and the targets set to reduce sugar from a range of products are also welcome.  But both these measures must be carefully monitored to ensure industry is complying and that there is a real change in consumption.  We’ve said time and again that it was an error for Government to exclude TV junk food advertising restrictions in their Obesity Plan.  We know these adverts have an effect on the type of food children consume, and experts from across the health sector, parents and the Health Select Committee agree that a ban prior to the 9pm watershed is vital to help tackle the obesity crisis.”