2020/21 National Child Measurement Programme: Food Active Response

2020/21 National Child Measurement Programme: Food Active Response

The National Child Measurement Programme data for 2020/21 has been published, revealing an increase in the number of children living with obesity at both reception and year 6 age. Our Programme Lead Nicola Calder responds…

The latest round of data from the National Child Measurement Programme is a clear reminder of how much lockdown has impacted upon the lifestyles of children and young people – including the types of food consumed and opportunities to be active.

The pandemic has exacerbated inequalities, children living in our most deprived communities have been hit hardest, with the obesity prevalence gap between the most and least deprived rapidly getting wider. This is of particular concern given the government’s targets to half childhood obesity by 2030 and reduce inequalities within the population.

This new data provides a clear impetus for Government to address obesity as part of their plans to ‘level up’ and reduce the stark health inequalities that are deeply entrenched in this country.

Whilst we welcome some of the recent policy proposals from Government on restrictions to marketing and promotions on unhealthy food, it is some time until we will see these take affect and the health of our children simply cannot wait. There is also much more that policy makers and other system leaders can do both nationally and locally to address the many drivers of obesity.

A population-level, joined-up approach is required to support all families, children and young people maximise opportunities to be healthy, ensuring the communities they live in, social venues they visit and schools they attend support them to lead a healthy lifestyle – no matter where they live.



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