Laura Sharman 13 October 2015

Hunt accused of doing 'nothing' on childhood obesity report

Health secretary, Jeremey Hunt, has been accused of doing ‘absolutely nothing’ to action a plan on how to cut childhood obesity.

Speaking to MPs at a health committee meeting, Professor Graham MacGregor, chairman of Action on Sugar, said he had been ‘fobbed off’ since publishing the plan 18 months ago.

He told the inquiry, which is looking into the issue of childhood obesity: ‘We were asked by Jeremy Hunt for a plan to prevent childhood obesity over a year and a half ago. We gave him a brief but very well-evidenced document with seven actions as to how he could prevent childhood obesity.

‘Since then he has done absolutely nothing.’

‘In spite of going back to him 10 times, we're always fobbed off by Department of Health officials saying they are waiting for further information.’

Prof MacGregor said other countries have managed to reduce obesity by introducing a sugar tax, such as in Mexico, Finland and France.

At the start of the inquiry, Dr Sarah Wollaston, chair of the committee, said she was ‘deeply disappointed’ not to see the findings of a report looking at how the Government could cut sugar consumption.

‘The committee is deeply disappointed that we have not seen publication of the detailed evidence review conducted by Public Health England,’ she said.

‘We consider that that is obstructing this inquiry.’

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