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By Medicines Discovery Catapult

Slimming World: Childhood Obesity Strategy should be stronger

Slimming World

3 min read Partner content

Leading weight management organisation Slimming World responds to the Government's newly published Childhood Obesity Strategy.

Slimming World, the largest weight management company in UK and Ireland, supporting 900,000 members at 16,000 weekly groups, has welcomed the publication of the government’s long awaited Childhood Obesity Strategy. However the organisation expressed dismay that junk food has been let off the hook despite young people themselves pointing the finger at fast food takeaways and unclear food labelling as major factors in the childhood obesity epidemic.

Slimming World also says that a strategy that addresses only childhood obesity and ignores adult obesity and advice to parents, is unlikely to solve a problem that affects the health and wellbeing of families and communities and costs the NHS £5.1 billion a year.

Earlier this year the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), the Youth Health Movement, and Slimming World published the Child’s Obesity Strategy after working closely with 13-18 years old from across the UK to ask how young people would solve the childhood obesity epidemic.  

Jenny Caven, Head of External Affairs said: “This is the first time that young people had been asked for their views on obesity and they identified a number of steps which could be taken by food manufacturers, retailers, Government and others to help tackle childhood obesity.

“Interestingly, many of the steps identified by the young people are steps that have been previously identified by experts but not acted on by the Government.”

Ms Caven added: “Obesity is a complex and multi-layered issue that has an impact on physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing. Overconsumption of sugar is a major public health issue but it is important to remember that reducing sugar intake is just one factor in supporting people to adopt healthier lifestyles and other key issues, such as reducing the consumption of high fat foods and understanding how to make healthy eating choices, must be addressed too.

“There is strong evidence of a link between parents who are overweight and a child’s propensity to obesity so it is vital that any new initiatives and policy must encourage a whole family approach.

“Our report, ‘The Child’s Obesity Strategy’ made a number of recommendations from young people themselves including a call to ban fast food deliveries to schools and putting health warning classifications on foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar.

“We call on the government to recognise that the publication of its new strategy is very much a starting point and the dialogue with experts in the field of weight management and behaviour change must be a priority. A whole generation is depending on it.”


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