Child health experts urge election commitment on TV food ban

Child obesity Professor Neena Modi health
Professor Neena Modi: Obesity kills and cripples
17/05/2017 - 07:03
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has thrown its weight behind the call for an end to advertising unhealthy foods before 9pm.

The RCPCH has published 'Child Health Matters - Vision for 2017' in which it sets out the key policy calls it would like all political parties to adopt, whatever the general election result on June 8th.

Professor Neena Modi, RCPCH president, says: "One in five 5-year-olds and one in three 10-year-olds in the UK are overweight or obese.

“If this growing crisis is not tackled, half of all UK children will be obese or overweight by 2020. Obesity kills and cripples, fuelling the rise in the population prevalence of chronic non-communicable diseases and placing an enormous burden on the economy and health services.

“Efforts to date have not been successful in halting the growing obesity epidemic.

“We repeat our calls for a ban on advertising foods high in saturated fat, sugar and salt in all broadcast media before 9pm, the full implementation of the soft drinks industry levy, and continued development of a comprehensive reformulation programme to make food and drink healthier, with a clear plan for evaluation and a timetable for implementation.”

She said that achieving good child health and wellbeing had to be a priority at the highest level for the next Government as this was the ‘cardinal determinant’ of the health of the adult population, and a healthy old-age."

“The 'Vision for 2017' sets out the ways in which the new Government can promote our vision to improve child health and wellbeing.

“It recognises that policies that improve child health and wellbeing represent the investment that will result in the greatest economic return for the nation.

“These policies can ensure all infants, children and young people have the best start in life.”

The RCPCH is also urging the creation of a dedicated Cabinet Sub-Committee to develop and implement a clear strategy focused on getting health right from the very early years, chaired by a representative from Her Majesty’s Treasury in recognition of the importance of child health as the best economic investment for the nation.

Adds Professor Modi: “Child health and wellbeing must be at the top of the political agenda. Healthy children are more likely to grow into healthy adults, increasing economic productivity and reducing the burden on health services in old age.

“To ensure the health of infants, children and young people in the UK is the best in the world, co-ordinated Government action across all departments is required.”

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