New childhood obesity plan falls short

by jontwigge on 21 August, 2016

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has responded to the publication of the Government’s long-awaited Childhood Obesity Strategy, which has now been downgraded to a plan.

RSPH has welcomed a number of elements of the plan, including the introduction of a sugar levy, a target for primary school children to undertake an hour of physical activity each day, and a pledge to introduce clearer food labelling.

However, RSPH believes the plan risks being undermined as many of the key planks which an effective and comprehensive strategy would contain are absent; most notably measures to tackle junk food advertising and marketing, and the failure to introduce mandatory targets to cut sugar content in food products.

It feels like several pages of the plan are missing; there is a glaring omission around any measures to tackle the aggressive marketing of junk food – on TV, online, and through sponsorship and price promotions. Such marketing and promotion was identified as a critical area for action by Public Health England in its sugar reduction report last year. It is therefore extremely disappointing that these evidence-based recommendations have been dismissed.

The health and wellbeing of today’s children and tomorrow’s adults deserves a serious and comprehensive strategy if we are to stand any chance of success.

The RSPH has a Child Obesity Strategy


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