The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health is calling for the measure to be part of an updated childhood obesity strategy which the Government is due to publish this summer.
Paediatricians urged ministers to introduce a national programme to weigh and measure children from birth right through adolescence, arguing that “snapshot” weigh-ins taken at the start and end of primary school meant weight problems were spotted too late.
One in three children is overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school, with Britain’s obesity rates the worst in Western Europe and rising faster than those in the US.
Next month, the Commons health and social care committee will open hearings for an inquiry on childhood obesity, examining priorities for action. In a submission to the inquiry, the Royal College is calling for a series of measures to combat obesity, starting at the school gates.
Prof Viner told The Daily Telegraph: “Kids are coming out of school hungry and finding themselves surrounded by cheap chicken shops, chip shops and other types of junk food. This just wasn’t the case 20 or 30 years ago.
Research suggest the number of fast-food outlets in England grew by 4,000 between 2014 and 2017, with 1,800 schools having at least 10 such retailers within a 400-metre radius.
Are there fast food outlets on the doorstep of your school? Will banning them really help tackle childhood obesity? Please tell us your thought in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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