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Childhood Obesity

Please find attached the Department of Health’s plan for action to tackle childhood obesity for your information.

Facts:

  • Today nearly a third of children aged 2 to 15 are overweight or obese
  • Younger generations are becoming obese at earlier ages and staying obese for longer
  • Obesity doubles the risk of dying prematurely.
  • Obese adults are seven times more likely to become a type 2 diabetic than adults of a healthy weigh, which may cause blindness or limb amputation.
  • Obese people are more likely to get physical health conditions like heart disease and are also more likely to be living with conditions like depression
  • The UK spends more each year on the treatment of obesity and diabetes than it does on the police, fire service and judicial system combined.
  • It was estimated that the NHS in England spent £5.1 billion on overweight and obesity-related ill-health in 2014/15.8  
  • The burden is falling hardest on those children from low-income backgrounds - obesity rates are highest for children from the most deprived areas and this is getting worse.
  • Children aged 5 and from the poorest income groups are twice as likely to be obese compared to their most well off counterparts and by age 11 they are three times as likely.

The government plan to reduce England’s rate of childhood obesity within the next 10 years by encouraging:

  • industry to cut the amount of sugar in food and drinks: 5% sugar cut over the next year with an ultimate target of 20%
  • primary school children to eat more healthily and stay active: at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day and to help parents and carers ensure children get the same amount at home