Childhood Obesity Plan Chapter 2 - the detail

26 June 2018

The full report has now been published and we've been going through it with a highlighter pen ...

What we've found are some encouraging developments in the sections on sugar reduction, calorie reduction, advertising and local areas. This includes a consultation by the end of 2018 on:

 

  • banning price promotions, such as buy-one-get-one-free, of unhealthy food and drink
  • banning unhealthy food and drink at checkouts
  • restricting advertising of unhealthy food to children, including a ban on such TV ads before 9pm
  • restricting the sale of energy drinks

There's also talk of extending the Sugary Drinks Industry Levy to milk drinks and introducing calorie labelling and front of pack nutritional labelling.

Sadly the schools section is somewhat lacking and can be found languishing at the back of the Plan, possibly in the hope that no-one will notice its lack of content or detail. Here's what we've marked with our highlighter pen:

  • a renewed commitment to update the school food standards in line with guidance on sugar reduction, but without a timeline
  • a statement on the standards being introduced "to make sure food provided to pupils is nutritious and of high quality" but no commitment to make the standards mandatory in all schools, despite another call from the Health Select Committee to do so
  • a renewed commitment to introduce a healthy rating scheme for schools but, again, no timeline ... or any detail whatsoever
  • a strong focus on physical exercise, which is important, but without acknowledging the evidence that physical activity is secondary to calorie consumption when tackling obesity - "no-one can outrun a bad diet"
  • talk of Ofsted's role and a new framework which will consider how schools support children to develop ‘healthy behaviours’ but no talk of Ofsted's thematic review on obesity, which has yet to be published.

 

Now government has finally handed in its homework on Childhood Obesity, we'll be working with campaign partners to draw up a list of actions for DFE in the familiar language of Even Better If and Next Steps. You can read Chapter 2 in full here.

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