Over 1800 10 year olds in Newcastle are obese - 24% of the total - according to government data released today.
Despite the Conservative Government's publication last year of a Childhood Obesity Plan, over a third of 10 year olds in England are overweight, and one in five classed as obese.
Public Health England regards childhood obesity as one of the most serious public health challenges for the 21st century. Obese children and adolescents are at an increased risk of developing various health problems, and are also more likely to become obese adults.
Liberal Democrat candidate for Newcastle East Dr Wendy Taylor, who is chair of Newcastle council's Health Scrutiny committee commented:
“The failure of Conservatives and Labour to properly tackle childhood obesity is carelessly risking the health of children in Newcastle. The Conservative Government's national strategy is failing and the Labour council's local public health strategy is not making sufficient impact at local level. In Newcastle nearly one in four 10 year olds is classed as obese (24%), and citywide more than 37% of 10 year olds are classed as being overweight.
“We cannot allow another five years to go by without proper steps being taken to address this problem. Liberal Democrats know it is time to get tougher on advertisers and food manufacturers, to protect the future of kids in Newcastle.
“The Liberal Democrats are the only real opposition to this hard right Conservative government.”
Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Norman Lamb MP, added:
“This should be a wake-up call to the Government that their approach to public health has been nothing short of disastrous.
“Councils' public health budgets have been cut and the Conservative’s paltry Childhood Obesity Strategy lacked concrete measures to tackle advertising of junk food to children and reduce levels of sugar in food.
“Without real action to tackle ill-health in children the Government are inexcusably letting down our young people, and harming their wellbeing and life chances”.
Notes to Editors
Latest figures on childhood obesity can be found here (link)