In response to the Health and Social Care Select Committee report on childhood obesity, BMA board of science chair Professor Dame Parveen Kumar said:
"This new report reflects some of our deepest concerns about childhood obesity. With the UK displaying the highest levels of obesity in western Europe and one in three children overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school, it’s hard to find families unaffected by this health issue which urgently needs addressing.
"The government can rectify missed opportunities by bringing in greater restrictions on how and when unhealthy, sugary, salty and fatty foods are marketed and promoted so children and young people aren’t bombarded with adverts, and we agree with the Select Committee that these measures are needed now.
"It’s also reassuring to see this report call for local authorities to have more planning powers to limit the number of unhealthy food outlets and advertising near schools.
"We have warned that cuts to public health services intended to tackle obesity are hitting the most deprived areas hardest; it’s unfair that children are more at risk of obesity as a consequence of where they were born.
"We hope the government will acknowledge it must do everything in its power to turn the tide on childhood obesity in light of this timely report."
Notes to Editors
- Read more about the BMA’s report into childhood obesity, ‘Food for Thought’ here.