Childhood Obesity Inquiry – consultation response

In 2018 we responded to the Health and Social Care Committee Childhood obesity inquiry. We welcome the continued emphasis and scrutiny on childhood obesity and recommend further coordinated and innovative action.

The Health and Social Care Committee Childhood obesity inquiry that was looking into the progress made with the measures contained in the August 2016 Government plan and asking what the priorities should be for further Government action. Full details of the Terms of Reference for the inquiry is available online.

Our response

  • We are concerned that despite continued focus, rates of childhood obesity in the UK are not improving and for deprived groups there is evidence of further escalation.
  • We welcome the progress made in areas of the Childhood Obesity Plan including the soft drinks levy, sugar reduction, making school food healthier, food labelling and enabling health professionals to support families and call for continued action to build on the progress that has been made.

Our recommendations

  • There should be a coordinated response to obesity prevention across a wide range of stakeholders including parents, children, businesses and civil society actors, in addition to government.
  • The Government should ban the advertising of foods high in saturated fat, sugar and salt in all broadcast media before 9pm.
  • The Government should audit local authority licensing and catering arrangements with the aim of developing formal recommendations on reducing the proximity of fast food outlets to schools, colleges, leisure centres and other places where children gather.
  • The Government should extend the National Child Measurement Programme to measure children after birth, before school and during adolescence.
  • Overweight and obese children must have timely access and support to attend evidence-based programmes, via prescriptions or referrals from GPs.

We respond to a wide range of consultations to ensure that the College’s position, and ultimately children’s health, is represented. Members can get involved in current consultations by contacting the Health Policy team: