The challenge of childhood obesity

Statistics released last week reveal that too many children are leaving primary school overweight or obese.

Around 30% of children in the UK are overweight or obeseOne third of 10-11 year olds in England are either overweight or obese*. This is storing up a potential future of ill health with obesity increasing the chances of developing deadly conditions like heart disease, diabetes and stroke in adulthood. Is this the future we want for our children?

Where has this rise come from? What has changed in the last 10, 20 or 30 years? 

A lot of people blame parents, but we find this hard to believe. Is it really the case that one in three children has ‘bad’ parents?

Of course, individuals have a responsibility to raise their children to be healthy, but the environment has changed.

Advertisers bombard children with seductive marketing for foods high in fat, salt and sugar. Ready-made food is crammed with hidden sugars and can be served in enormous portions. Shops are often laid out to encourage impulse buying of sweets and crisps.


We live in a world which undermines good parenting. This is not acceptable. 

We need a robust plan to tackle this issue head on and reduce obesity levels. As the Government prepares its Childhood Obesity Strategy early next year, they need to wake up to the scale of this challenge and introduce a range of measures to tackle obesity including a 9pm watershed ban on junk food marketing on TV as well as greater restrictions on online advertising. 

Obesity is a complex issue that will require action from individuals, industry and government. We’re calling on the Government to lead the way by supporting parents and families to better protect their children and set us on a path to future good health.


* http://www.hscic.gov.uk/6837