LGA responds to new National Child Measurement Programme figures

“Councils are working to support children and families to live healthy lives and reduce pressure on other public services, from health visitors supporting new parents to weight management services and subsidised leisure facilities, but more needs to be done, especially to reduce the gap between the most and least deprived."


A plate full of chips with ketchup and mayo on the back

Commenting on the publication of new National Child Measurement Programme figures, comparing the same cohort’s measurements in reception and year six, Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board said:

"It is concerning to see a growing number of children living with being overweight or obese between reception and year six.

“Councils are working to support children and families to live healthy lives and reduce pressure on other public services, from health visitors supporting new parents to weight management services and subsidised leisure facilities, but more needs to be done, especially to reduce the gap between the most and least deprived.

“New powers and funding for councils are needed to build on this, including tackling the clustering of existing takeaways and restricting junk food advertising near schools. We need to expand access to Healthy Start Vouchers to ensure more families on low incomes can access fresh fruit and vegetables as well as expanding access and increasing the eligibility criteria of Free School Meals.

“Investment in councils’ public health services now will reap benefits for everyone longer-term, including for the NHS as we look to build back better from the pandemic and level up the future health chances of the next generation.”