Health Secretary Matt Hancock asks for help to halve childhood obesity in the UK

Mail Online | 5/30/2019 | Sam Blanchard Senior Health Reporter For Mailonline
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The Health Secretary today asked for help to deliver the Government's promise to halve childhood obesity over the next 10 years.

Matt Hancock called on England's Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, to prepare an urgent report by September on how best to help children lose weight.

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Some 29 per cent of children aged two to 15 are now overweight or obese in England, with 16 per cent of them being obese.

The Government has committed to trying to cut this figure by half before 2030.

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Mr Hancock today said 'we should not rest on our laurels' and called for expert advice to help improve the plans.

'We have already gone further than any other country to reduce childhood obesity,' Mr Hancock said. 'Our reformulation programmes are world-leading.

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'Children up and down the country are running a mile a day thanks to our work with primary schools, and we are consulting on a number of new laws on advertising and promotions to make the environment healthier for our children.

'I have no doubt that these policies will be effective. What I do not underestimate is the scale of the problem we face and we should not rest on our laurels.

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'By 2030, if we want to see a real improvement to our children’s health we are going to have to use every tool in our arsenal, so today I have asked the Chief Medical Officer to report back on what else we can take forward.'

The Government's childhood obesity action plan was first published in 2016 and set out measures which could help slim the nation's children.

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One of its flagship measures, the sugar tax on soft drinks, has already begun and raised £154million in its first six months – the money will be reinvested in sports and breakfast clubs at schools.

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