Childhood Obesity Strategy | Backbench Business Committee Debate

Local government has a huge, central role to play in tackling this problem.

Key messages

England's young people have the highest consumption of sugary soft drinks in Europe. 9.3 per cent of children aged 4-5 years old are obese and a further 13 per cent are overweight. 18.9 per cent of children aged 10-11 are obese and a further 14.4 per cent overweight. This means that the number of obese children doubles while they are in primary schools.

The transfer of public health responsibilities from the NHS to local government and Public Health England (PHE) has allowed councils to support the needs of individual communities and set out a local approach to tackling obesity. Councils have focused on shifting the emphasis from treatment to prevention.

The difficult reductions announced by the Government in the Spending Review, an annual real-term cut of 3.9 per cent (£331 million over five years) in councils' public health budgets over the next five years, on top of a £200 million in-year cut already announced this year, will have a major impact on the many prevention and early intervention services carried out by councils to combat child obesity.