British Liver Trust urges Prime Minister to take action on childhood obesity

Posted on: 15th July 2020

Ahead of the Prime Minister’s imminent plans to address obesity in the UK, the British Liver Trust has joined with Action on Sugar, Action on Salt and 47 leading health charities and researchers representing both the treatment and prevention of obesity, to urge Mr Johnson to implement all outstanding recommendations previously committed to in Chapters 1, 2 and 3 of the Government’s Childhood Obesity Plan. As part of this campaign, we have written a letter to the prime minister today.

Vanessa Hebditch, Director of Communications and Policy said, "The UK has one of the highest proportions of overweight and obese children in the EU with recent figures showing that a quarter of children are obese at the age of 11. Obesity is a problem of our environment more than individual willpower. Failure to comprehensively tackle this will lead to more devastating headlines of people experiencing weight-related disease including non-alcohol related fatty liver disease. We must address weight gain  in children or the next generation will see huge numbers of the next generation suffer from life threatening illness."

Action on Sugar and Action on Salt’s traffic light Scorecard 2020: The road to preventing obesity analyses the Government’s commitments against progress of the three chapters, finding that  many of the core recommendations aimed at improving the lives of both children and adults living with obesity - such as calorie reduction targets and clearer nutrition labels on food and drink products - have disappointingly been side lined and are stuck at the traffic lights.

Obesity scorecard

For the Prime Minister’s new obesity plan to be effective and change the health trajectory of future generations, a robust and joined up policy package is required, including the vital 9pm watershed to limit advertising and marketing of less healthy food across all media platforms, allowing families to see more of the products that are good for them.

Prime Minister, we are all agreed: only you can ensure progress on this leading plan and secure a healthy future for the next generation. The time has come to give the Childhood Obesity Plan the green light.

The British Liver Trust is also calling for adult obesity to be addressed as part of the government’s prevention plan.