Family Getting Active Health

Government plans to halve childhood obesity

Written by Christian Butler

Read how the government is planning to halve the problem of childhood obesity.

The government has announced new measures to halve childhood obesity in England by 2030. One in three children are overweight or obese by the age of 11. These changes will help by giving parents more information and support.

Here is a rundown of the government’s new plan.

In store promotions

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has stated, “Parents are asking for help – we know that over three-quarters of parents find offers for sugary sweets and snacks at checkouts annoying.” To counter this, the government intends to pass a new law that prevent this. It will ban these promotions in store locations like the checkout, the store’s entrance and at the end of aisles. They also intend to ban price promotions that promote bulk buying of unhelthy unhealthy products. This would include things like buy one, get one free and unlimited refills.

Energy drinks

Currently, manufacturers have to label any energy drink containing over 150mg of caffeine as ‘unsuitable for children.’ However, this hasn’t stopped nearly 70% of UK 10-17 years olds consuming energy drinks. Therefore, the government has announced its intention to ban the sale of energy drinks to children outright.

Calorie labelling

Overweight and obese children are consuming up to 500 extra calories per day. One of the key ways the government intends to empower parents is for them to be provided with more information about calorie content. In light of this, the government wants to introduce consistent calorie labelling. This will be made available in restaurants, cafes and restaurants.

Advertising

Advertising of unhealthy foods has previously been curbed in advertising during children’s television. The government now realise this is just a  small portion of all the viewing platforms that children watch. Now, they wish to introduce a 9pm watershed on TV advertising of products that are high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS). They will also investigate similar protection for children viewing adverts online.

Schools

The government is also introducing measures to improve how schools encourage a healthy lifestyle. They wish to promote initiatives like The Daily Mile. The idea is to encourage time at school for pupils to walk a mile each day. OFSTED is developing its inspections to consider students’ development in relation to healthy behaviours. The government has also pledged to invest over £1.6 million in the next academic year to support cycling and walking to school.

For more detailed information, read the full report here.

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