"Urgent action is needed to tackle the child obesity crisis to prevent today’s obese children becoming tomorrow’s obese adults."
Responding to a report by the APPG on A Fit and Healthy Childhood, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“Urgent action is needed to tackle the child obesity crisis to prevent today’s obese children becoming tomorrow’s obese adults.
“The child obesity epidemic is costing the NHS more than £5 billion a year, while more than 22,000 children aged 10 and 11 in Year 6 now classed as severely obese.
“The Government’s childhood obesity strategy included positive measures to tackle this crisis, but we urge it to go further by giving councils powers to ban junk food advertising – including on telephone boxes - near schools, nurseries and children’s centres and providing specialised support for obese and severely obese children.
“Limiting children’s exposure to an onslaught of adverts for unhealthy food, in conjunction with other initiatives, will help improve children’s health and reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer in later life.
“To help councils continue to tackle child obesity and reduce related pressures on the NHS, government needs to reverse the £600 million in reductions to councils’ public health grants between 2015/16 and 2019/20.”