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Time to solve childhood obesity

Outgoing Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Dame Sally Davies, has issued her final report on how to tackle childhood obesity. The CMO’s ‘Time to solve childhood obesity’ calls for access to healthy affordable food for all children in the UK.

The report outlines a series of recommendations to Government that will create a healthy food environment for all children, including:-
  • Ensure healthy school food is available at an affordable price, alongside ready supplies of free drinking water.
  • Increase the value of the free school meal allowance so that it covers the cost of a healthy meal.
  • Develop early years national food standards.
  • Ensure that there are robust independent monitoring systems in place so that current food standards are implemented in all nurseries and schools.
  • Develop a national approach to supporting schools and local authorities to commission healthier catering supplies
  • Tighter restrictions on marketing, advertising and sponsorship of less healthy food and drink products 
  • Extend the sugar tax to include milk-based drinks
  • Implement an upper level cap on calories per serving for food and drink sold by out-of-home sector

Hattie Shepherd, Policy Officer at Food for Life, says, “Food for Life welcomes the new report from Professor Dame Sally Davies, which provides some bold new recommendations for tackling childhood obesity and for making healthy food affordable for all. At a time when Government action on obesity seems to have stalled, it is encouraging to see focus being drawn to the effects the wider food environment can have on children’s choices rather than placing the blame on individuals.

“Food for Life schools and early years settings are proof that a positive and healthy food environment can be achieved for all pupils. However, the Government needs to make it easier for all settings to do this by taking on the recommendations in this report, especially around monitoring school food standards and supporting schools to commission healthier catering suppliers."

Schools with a Food for Life award have met or exceeded the school food standards and create a healthy, sustainable food environment through a whole school approach. 

Find out more about the work Food for Life are doing to make healthy eating easier for kids in schools and early years settings.