Marking the One Year Anniversary of the Childhood Obesity Plan: Chapter 2

Marking the One Year Anniversary of the Childhood Obesity Plan: Chapter 2

Today marks the one year anniversary since the Childhood Obesity Plan: Chapter 2 was announced by the Government.

The publication followed the first edition published back in 2016. The stark difference between the two, at the time, was that the second chapter included some bold proposals – a far cry from the first chapter which was heavily criticised by both campaigners and politicians for lacking in ambition.

Food Active, among other third sector groups, campaigners and health professionals, welcomed the proposals with open arms and commended the Government for finally proposing some bold action – along with their commitment to halving childhood obesity by 2030. But where are we at 12 months after the plan was published? Let’s start with the good news first…

The good news is that there are some nuggets of hope through today’s announcement of the five successful local authority trailblazers and progress of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy. The bad news is that other than these two actions, we are yet so see any results from the six consultations – some of which have been closed for over 6 months, some still ongoing and some still yet even to be discussed – despite being promised that they would be consulted on before the end of 2018. In addition to these consultations, there is staggered progress in a number of the other promises made by the Government.

Today we take a look where some of these ‘bold’ actions proposed in the Childhood Obesity Plan are up to – review the timeline, progress and our considerations. Starting from the best in show, working through those that have made staggered progress to those that urgently need action. It is clear to see that on the whole, progress has been extremely staggered and more commitment from the Government is urgently required if we are to face any chance of reaching the ambition of halving childhood obesity by 2030.


Commenting on the progress of the plan, Food and Nutrition Lead Alex Holt at Food Active said:

“It’s been 365 days since the Government published it’s second edition of the Childhood Obesity Plan, which showed so much promise and finally the bold ambition that is so urgently needed to help reduce the number of children and young people experiencing obesity. The fact there was so much promise makes it all the more disappointing when reflecting on what action has been taken since the plan was published. 

We welcome the news today of the five local authority trailblazers being awarded £1.5m to develop local solutions for tackling obesity. Food Active were a pleased to support the discovery phase process for one of the successful applicants, a joint application of six councils across Pennine Lancashire (Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Pendle, Rossendale, Ribble Valley and Hyndburn), aims to harness the power of system leaders, planning policy, business incentives and community support to drive healthier food environments across Pennine Lancashire. 

However, today our review shows that little progress has been seen elsewhere in the plan. We are still awaiting results from any of the six consultations that were outlined in the plan and there is staggered progress elsewhere – meanwhile, our future generations health continues to suffer and particularly those in our most disadvantaged communities.

If the Government are serious about meeting their committment to halving childhood obesity by 2030, then we urge them to use this anniversary as an opportunity to get the ball rolling once more and finish what they started.”

Print this article


Find out more about the Food Active team and the Food Active Network

What we Do

Find out more about our programme of work and our priorities

Policy Change

Explore our work on influencing policy both locally and nationally


Discover our range of campaigns to promote behaviour change


Find out more about our research to understand and explore the food environment


Get up to speed with our past conferences and events programme