In Sheffield, a fifth of children in reception class – aged four and five – are overweight or obese. This rises to one in three by the time they reach year six.
Poor diet has become a feature of our children’s lives, with junk food more readily available, and food manufacturers constantly targeting children with their marketing for food and drinks that are extremely bad for their health.
It is incredibly disappointing that the government has ignored the calls of food campaigners and health organisations, andfailed to include any plans for tighter controls on marketing and promotion.
Poor diet is responsible for up to 70,000 deaths a year, and has a greater impact on the NHS budget than alcohol consumption, smoking or physical inactivity.
The government must act now and take urgent action to address the obesity epidemic that’s impacting on our children’s health and placing a huge burden on our already overstretched NHS.
Professor Parveen Kumar
Board of Sciene chair, British Medical Association