LGA responds to NAO report on childhood obesity

“Childhood obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges we face and this report is another stark reminder of the urgent need for radical action to combat this."


photo of crisps and chocolate on a supermarket aisle

Responding to a National Audit Office report on childhood obesity, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, said:

“Childhood obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges we face and this report is another stark reminder of the urgent need for radical action to combat this.

“Councils are already working hard to help their communities live healthier and more active lives, including initiatives such as healthy food schemes in schools and nurseries and specialised weight management services.

“Greater powers for councils are also needed to tackle the clustering of existing takeaways and restricting junk food advertising, alongside extra investment in other council-run programmes such as exercise referral schemes and offering free or reduced-cost sport, if we are to meet the Government’s ambition of halving childhood obesity by 2030.

“The forthcoming Spending Review is an opportunity to reverse the £700 million reduction in councils’ public health grant over the past five years. The grant should also be increased to match the growth in overall NHS funding to at least £3.9 billion a year by 2024/25.”

Notes to editors

The LGA represents more than 330 councils of all types across England. We work on behalf of our members to support, promote and improve local government.

It is councils who had led communities through the COVID-19 crisis. Our recent recent polling shows that 71 per cent of residents trust their council and two thirds are satisfied with the way their local council runs things in their area. Our new discussion paper - Re-thinking Local - sets out how councils must now be empowered to locally-lead the COVID-19 recovery and tackle the economic, environmental and community challenges that we will face as a result of the pandemic