The UK’s plan of action to reduce childhood obesity “missed an opportunity for global leadership” according to a new report in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).  Lack of action in targeting childhood obesity has generated an outcry from the medical and public health communities, who had hoped for much more.

One of the most significant omissions was reference to the recommendations made in the World Health Organisation’s Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity (ECHO), published in January 2016, which included evidence based interventions, such as:

  • An industry levy on sugar sweetened beverages
  • Clearer food labelling
  • Nutrient profiling to identify healthy and unhealthy foods
  • Promotion of physical activity in schools

By failing to recognise that overweight and obesity in children and young people are driven by multiple modifiable biological, behavioural, environmental and commercial factors, a major opportunity has been lost for effective prevention.  The article published in the BMJ suggests a wider global alliance is needed, with emphasis on a life course approach.  So, let’s not forget about the significance of childhood obesity, even though the Government grossly underestimated the importance of tackling this.

For more information, see: Hanson M et al. (2017) British Medical Journal. Vol. 356: j762. Available at: http://www.bmj.com/content/356/bmj.j762/rr-3