Published: Fri, October 11, 2019
Medical | By

UK Chief Medical Officer calls for tough action to tackle childhood obesity

UK Chief Medical Officer calls for tough action to tackle childhood obesity

The UK's outgoing chief medical officer has urged the government to ban food and drink on trains and buses in a bid to tackle child obesity, provoking outrage online from those who are against state intervention on such an issue.

Dame Sally Davies also said unhealthy foods should cost a bit more, to encourage people to make healthier choices.

"The unavoidable fact is that over time our environment has become very unhealthy without us realising." she says.

Allow children to grow up free from marketing, signals and incentives to consume unhealthy food and drink - including prohibiting eating and drinking on urban public transport, except fresh water, breastfeeding and for medical conditions.

Boris Johnson expressed concerns in July about "stealth sin taxes" and the "continuing creep of the nanny state".

Eating on the UK's trains and buses should be banned to help tackle child obesity, the country's leading doctor has said. However we have to do not forget that most limitations to "healthy eating" aren't resulting from a scarcity of schooling or consciousness that on stability, most of us needs to be consuming our greens and shifting extra - they're created by the society and surroundings we dwell in.

Some of the health impacts of childhood obesity are asthma, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and joint pain - all of which would rely on the NHS for treatment.

- Curb auto speed limits near schools and homes to help improve air quality and encourage children to walk or cycle.


"When government sets targets or legislates, business innovates and can still make a profit - for example when it develops better and healthier foods", she added.

NHS chief executive Simon Stevens said of the latest data: "Obesity is a unsafe public health threat for our children, leading to a string of serious illnesses".

But the Food and Drink Federation said firms were working hard to cut unhealthy ingredients, and "punitive measures" might hinder their efforts. "Companies often use children's cartoon characters and sponsorship of major sporting events to market these items, casting them as the shining star in children's minds".

Today's children are drowning in a flood of unhealthy food and drink options, compounded by insufficient opportunities for being active... "If they don't the message would be that they are not making children their priority", she said.

"Politicians, I call on all of you across the political spectrum to come together and take action". As many as 90,000 adolescents may be eligible for bariatric surgery - but fewer than 10 stomach-shrinking operations are done on this age group every year. This is a matter of health not about how children look.

Professor Dame Sally Davies acknowledged she hoped other measures will nearly definitely be tried first to stem falling immunisation rates, but that it modified into fundamental to terminate the unfold of deadly diseases.

"The Government ambition is to halve childhood obesity by 2030 - in England, we are nowhere near achieving this", she writes in her report.

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