Mark Whitehead 29 May 2018

Council chiefs warn obesity is ‘ill-health time bomb’

Council chiefs warn obesity is ‘ill-health time bomb’ image

New figures show that child obesity is contributing to a 'multi-billion pound ill-health time bomb', local government leaders have warned.

Data released by the National Child Measurement Programme says 4.1% of children aged 10 and 11 in Year 6 are classed as severely obese.

This is nearly twice the number of four and five year-olds, showing that they are gaining weight as they go through primary schools.

Experts warn that severe obesity puts people at serious health risks including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.

The LGA is calling for reductions in public health grants to be reversed by the Government and for further reforms to tackle childhood obesity.

This should include councils having a say in how and where the soft drinks levy is spent, better labelling on food and drink products, and powers to ban junk food advertising near schools.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the LGA’s community wellbeing board, said: 'Unless we tackle this obesity crisis, today’s obese children will become tomorrow’s obese adults whose years of healthy life will be shortened by a whole host of health problems including diabetes, cancer and heart disease.'

The power of local systems to save lives image

The power of local systems to save lives

Councils and their partners could do even more to contain the spread of COVID-19 if properly funded to undertake a robust localised system of testing, tracking and tracing, argues Professor Donna Hall.
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