Childhood obesity - our recommendations to the nations

We have created a number of recommendations for the Government of each nation which we believe will improve childhood obesity. These include an ongoing evaluation of the soft drinks industry levy, creating safe places for children to walk, cycle and play and making every contact with patients count. Find out what we're recommending in your nation.

England

  1. Her Majesty’s Treasury should commission an independent and ongoing evaluation of the soft drinks industry levy.
  2. Public Health England should outline its plans for a regulatory framework for reformulation if the current voluntary programme does not achieve the targets set. Clear guidance on evaluation of industry reformulation and a specific timetable for implementation should also be published.
  3. Government should ban the advertising of foods high in saturated fat, sugar and salt in all broadcast media before 9pm.
  4. Government should undertake an audit of local authority licensing and catering arrangements with the intention of developing formal recommendations on reducing the proximity of fast food outlets to schools, colleges, leisure centres and other places where children gather.
  5. Government should extend the mandatory school food standards to all free schools and academies, and to early years settings. Compliance with these standards should be monitored through Ofsted inspections.
  6. NHS England and professional bodies should ensure that all health care professionals make every contact count by empowering them to have the often difficult conversation with patients about their weight.
  7. Government should extend the National Child Measurement Programme to measure children after birth, before school and during adolescence.

Scotland

  1. The Scottish Government should set challenging targets to reduce the proportion of children who are overweight or obese.
  2. NHS Scotland should expand the national programme to measure children after birth, before school and in adolescence.
  3. NHS Scotland and professional bodies should ensure that all health care professionals can make every contact count.
  4. The Scottish Government should undertake an audit of local authority licensing and catering arrangements.
  5. The Scottish Government should encourage physical activity for all children and young people and support parents and families to adopt healthy lifestyles by improving social and physical environments. Local authorities should ensure planning decisions include a public health impact assessment and should introduce 20 mph speed limits in built up areas to create safe places for children to walk, cycle and play.

Wales

  1. The Welsh Government should develop and implement an evidenced-based childhood obesity strategy for tackling the current crisis and preventing further escalation.
  2. The Welsh Government should audit local authority licensing and catering arrangements with the intention of developing formal recommendations on reducing the proximity of fast food outlets to schools, colleges, leisure centres and other places where children gather.
  3. Local authorities should carry out a public health impact assessment in all planning decisions and introduce 20 mph speed limits in built up areas, to create safe places for children to walk, cycle and play.
  4. Public Health Wales should expand the Child Measurement Plan for Wales to measure children after birth, before school and in adolescence.
  5. NHS Wales should ensure that all health care professionals can make every contact count by having difficult conversations with their patients (whatever their age) who are overweight or obese.

Northern Ireland

  1. The Public Health Agency should expand its national programmes to measure children after birth, before school and in adolescence.
  2. The Health and Social Care Board should commission services for children who are overweight or obese to help them lose weight. This should include incentives for GPs (General Practitioners) to refer patients to such services in the Quality and Outcomes Framework for Northern Ireland.
  3. Health and social care trusts and professional bodies should ensure that all health care professionals can make every contact count by having that difficult conversation with their patients (whatever their age) who are overweight.
  4. The Northern Ireland Executive should continue to encourage physical activity for all children and young people and support parents and families to adopt healthy lifestyles by improving social and physical environments by ensuring local authorities planning decisions include a public health impact assessment and introduce 20 mph speed limits in built up areas to create safe places for children to walk, cycle and play.
  5. The Northern Ireland Executive should undertake an audit of local licensing and catering arrangements with the intention of developing formal recommendations on reducing the proximity of fast food outlets to schools, colleges, leisure centres and other places where children gather.