Primary school children to be target of anti-obesity strategy

The Guardian is reporting that David Cameron has announced children of primary school age are to be the focus of an anti-obesity strategy to be unveiled this autumn.

The prime minister has already held talks in Downing Street with the celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, the chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies, the public health minister Jane Ellison and leading health economists to map out the central themes of the strategy…

Cameron told reporters: “It is disturbing that 10% of children go to school obese, but 20% are coming out of school obese, so it is this primary school period where we really can do better.

“That is why I have tasked the department of health, the department of education, Jamie Oliver and others to look at this period and think about what can we do better…”

Officials fear that by the time children reach 12 their lifestyles may be set, so it is critical to intervene with parents and their offspring at a young age. Figures published in March by the Health & Social Care Information Centre show 9.5% of reception class children aged four to five were obese. This marks a slight rise from 9.3% in the previous year, but is lower than in 2006-7 when 9.9% were obese.

In year 6 the proportion of 10-11 year olds classified as obese rose substantially to 19.1%, an increase in turn from 17.5% in 2006-7.

But these figures mask the extent to which poorer children have seen a big rise in their obesity. Figures published by the chief medical officer show the rise in obesity in deprived areas is much higher in primary school, rising from 12% to 25%. In wealthier areas the figures indicate that 13.1% of 10 and 11-year-old pupils in year six were obese, while in the poorest places it was 24.7%…

More at: Primary school children to be target of anti-obesity strategy


Do you welcome this initiative from David Cameron and, if so, what do you think the key issues it needs to address are and what possible solutions would you encourage it to give consideration to?

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  1. This initiative is directly as a result of a question asked in the House of Lords by Baroness Benjamin, who co-Chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood. 
    The recommendations within the three reports already published (Families, Early Years, School Food), plus the fourth report due out in the autumn on the health, wellbeing, development and behaviour benefits of Children’s Play, will all feed into the National Obesity Framework. 
    Other input is welcome, but the APPG was the spark.

  2. jo_pipsqueak

    This is not a new discussion. See CHANGE4LIFE initiative already in action, embedded and WORKING!in Gateshead.

  3. CyborgStu

    SchoolsImprove this implies that schools are making children obese! More education for parents & higher tax on unhealthy foods may help.

  4. jjohaluk

    SchoolsImprove so naturally, there must be a direct correlation? U0001f610 Cameron should have studied Advanced Research Methods and Statistics.

  5. jjohaluk

    SchoolsImprove Schools are not to blame..but will likely be burdened with responsibility to tackle this issue. Why not add to the list U0001f609

  6. RebelSpeducator

    SchoolsImprove Perhaps a “healthy eating/exercise” campaign for ALL children, regardless of size?

  7. karen_hansford

    SchoolsImprove David_Cameron Any chance of getting School Nurses involved?? WendyJNicholson SAPHNAsharonOBE

  8. suzieC1234

    emmatom37 karen_hansford SchoolsImprove David_Cameron WendyJNicholson SAPHNAsharonOBE We’ve the knowledge & expertise #brilliantidea

  9. emmatom37

    suzieC1234 karen_hansford SchoolsImprove David_Cameron WendyJNicholson SAPHNAsharonOBE never a challenge only opportunities!

  10. psycholdham

    DrG_NHS SchoolsImprove even more disturbing that food industry is profiting from this and Cameron not willing to take them on


    SchoolsImprove Just an idea but maybe school nurses visible in school addressing public health issues may help joeyteac1 NataliePearson9

  12. NataliePearson9

    LESLEYCLANCY SchoolsImprove joeyteac1 absolutely Lesley – be nice if he wanted to increase school nurses ! X

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