Responding to reports that the government's childhood obesity strategy, which was originally due to published last year, is now expected to be further delayed, Professor Parveen Kumar, BMA board of science chair, said:
“It is completely unacceptable that the government’s long-delayed strategy has been pushed back again.
“Doctors are increasingly concerned about the impact of poor diet, which causes up to 70,000 deaths a year, and has a greater impact on the NHS budget than alcohol consumption, smoking and physical inactivity combined.
“Overweight children become overweight adults, and are far more likely to develop conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. It is vital for the health of our next generation that the government produces a robust and forward-thinking strategy with targets, backed up by legislation, which work to reduce the amount of sugar, saturated fat and salt in our food. It must restrict junk food marketing that targets children, and should implement its promised sugar tax on soft drinks.
“The government’s strategy was due to be published a year ago – every day that it is delayed, is a day that the government is letting our children down.”
Notes to editor:
1. For further details of the BMAs policy on promoting healthy diets amongst young people please read our 'Food for Thought' report here.
The British Medical Association (BMA) is the voice of doctors and medical students in the UK. We are an apolitical professional organisation and independent trade union, representing doctors and medical students from all branches of medicine across the UK and supporting them to deliver the highest standards of care.