September 2016 – Childhood Obesity

September 2016 – Childhood Obesity

Thank you for contacting me about the Government’s plan to tackle childhood obesity.

With nearly a third of children aged two to fifteen overweight or obese, I agree that this is an important issue to tackle.

Sugary drinks are the single biggest source of sugar for children. To help combat this, the new plan will see the food and drinks industry working towards a 20 per cent reduction in the sugar used in products popular with children, including a five per cent reduction in year one. This can be done through cutting sugar levels, making portions smaller or encouraging the uptake of lower sugar alternatives.

There is a total ban on the advertising of less healthy food during children’s television programmes, on dedicated children’s broadcast channels and in programmes deemed to be “of particular appeal” to children under the age of 16.  The rules also contain restrictions on advertising content for both broadcast and non-broadcast media, for example promotional offers may not be used in less healthy food TV adverts targeted at pre-school or primary school aged children.

I am particularly delighted that the Government will be investing millions of pounds into school sport, helping children to develop life-long healthy habits and find how fitness can be fun for them.  That is why the plan also asks primary schools to help every pupil get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day.

Thank you again for your email.