Updates for members, the health profession, parents and carers on the progress of the College's objective to detect, treat, manage – and ultimately prevent – obesity in children and young people. This requires that all levels of society and government recognise responsibilty and take collective action to acheive a cultural shift.


  • shutterstock_8668792 Measuring Tape Apple OBESITY BRAND.jpgNearly a third (31%) of children aged 2–15 are overweight or obese1
  • The direct cost of obesity to the NHS is estimated to be £4.2bn a year2
  • At Reception and Year 6, children in the poorest decile are almost twice as likely to be obese compared those in the most affluent decile3

Our corporate aim is that ‘by 2015, 60% of Members responding to a poll should believe the campaign has been effective and be aware of and have access to the training materials available’ (RCPCH College Plan 2012-15).

RCPCH obesity summit October 2015

A group of 40 child health charities, campaign groups, academics, policy makers and researchers came together in early October at the RCPCH's 'Obesity Summit'. Delegates heard the latest research on factors affecting obesity levels and evidence for which policy interventions are likely to have the greatest event.

Download a full copy of the report with recommendations 

Presentations from the event:


In February 2013, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) launched a report, Measuring Up: The Medical Profession’s Prescription for the Nation’s Obesity Crisis (PDF, 339KB, 60 pages). This makes 10 recommendations, starting with the medical profession, but addressed across society at reducing the impact of the obesogenic environment.

Find out about the College's campaign with the AoMRC on tackling obesity

Position statement 

Childhood obesity (PDF, 4 pages, 168KB) - April 2012

Guidelines and standards

Consideration of Issues around the Use of BMI Centile Thresholds for Defining Underweight, Overweight and Obesity in Children aged 2-18 Years in the UK (PDF, 386KB, 15 pages) - joint statement, published by the RCPCH and the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), April 2012

OSCA Consensus Statement on the Assessment of Obese Children and Adolescents for Paediatricians (PDF, 265KB, 28 pages)- Obesity Services for Children and Adolescents (OSCA) Network Group, 2009

Storing Up Problems: The Medical Case for a Slimmer Nation - RCPCH, Royal College of Physicians, Faculty of Public Health, 2004

Other resources

Tackling Obesity through the Healthy Child Programme: A Framework for Action (PDF) - Mary Rudolf, 2009.

Low Levels of Knowledge on the Assessment of Underweight in Children and Adolescents among Middle-grade Doctors in England and Wales - Lee Hudson, Charlotte Cumby, Robert Klaber, Dasha Nicholls, Paul Winyard, Russell Viner, 2013


Kerry Garfitt, Health Policy Lead - isobel.howe@rcpch.ac.uk


1. Health and Social Care Information Centre (2009), Children’s overweight and obesity prevalence, by survey year, age-group and sex

2. Department of Health, Obesity: General Information - accessed 29 September 2011

3. National Obesity Observatory (2011), Prevalence of obesity by deprivation decile: Children in Reception and Year 6 (National Child Measurement Programme 2009/10) (PPT)