The Health Secretary last Thursday asked for help to deliver the Government's promise to halve childhood obesity over the next 10 years. Matt Hancock called on England's Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, to prepare an urgent report by September on how best to help children lose weight. Some 29 per cent of children aged two to 15 are now overweight or obese in England, with 16 per cent of them being obese. The Government has committed to trying to cut this figure by half before 2030. Mr Hancock said 'we should not rest on our laurels' and called for expert advice to help improve the plans.
The Government's childhood obesity action plan was first published in 2016 and set out measures which could help slim the nation's children. One of its flagship measures, the sugar tax on soft drinks, has already begun and raised £154million in its first six months – the money will be reinvested in sports and breakfast clubs at schools. Other initiatives include encouraging food and drink companies to reduce their sugar content by 20 per cent.
Food for sale in government-run buildings including leisure centres will be made healthier, and primary schools will make sure children get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day between lessons. And low income families will continue to get Healthy Start vouchers for milk and fruit and vegetables, under the Government plans.