Government needs to address root causes of obesity Health Foundation response to the Chief Medical Officer’s report on childhood obesity

10 October 2019

In response to the Chief Medical Officer’s report on childhood obesity, Jo Bibby, Director of Health at the Health Foundation, comments:

'The CMO’s report sets out several important recommendations that government departments should be taking to tackle childhood obesity. In particular, it is essential that there is action to review VAT rates on food and drink, and to create healthier environments through stronger industry regulation. Decision makers need to go further to address the root causes of obesity.

'While the report acknowledges that obesity levels are rising among children living in poorer and more disadvantaged households, more action is needed to fundamentally address the underlying problems of poverty and inequalities. Working family poverty means that families are both cash and time poor, making it doubly hard to put healthy meals on the table.  

'We need to ensure good health is at the heart of the government’s approach to policy-making by addressing the things that matter most to our health; the social, economic, commercial and environmental conditions in which people live – issues which span the whole of government and beyond.'

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