RCPCH responds to local authority trailblazer programme announcement

The Government has announced a new programme to develop local solutions to childhood obesity that can be shared across the country. RCPCH President Professor Russell Viner responds to the news.

Speaking at the LGA (Local Government Association) obesity conference, Public Health Minister Steve Brine introduced the programme and invited councils to submit proposals for tackling childhood obesity in their area when the programme launches in October.

Up to 12 local authorities will be supported to develop practical plans, and five will be selected for the three-year trailblazer programme next spring. These authorities will be on the programme for three years, during which time they will be given expert advice and £100,000 per year in funding.

The programme forms part of the second chapter of the government's childhood obesity plan.

Welcoming the news, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health President Professor Russell Viner said:

“Children today are growing up in an obesogenic environment, with the high street awash with fast food outlets and advertising for unhealthy food and drinks. Tackling childhood obesity is everyone’s business, which is why it’s great to see Government take action to support local authorities with developing solutions to this growing problem. We want to see local authorities use planning powers to create healthier environments for children, particularly around schools and playgrounds where they spend much of their time. We look forward to seeing the results of this trailblazer programme and hope that it will trigger real system change for local authorities across England.”