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Children: Obesity

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 64117, tabled on 24 June 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential for a rise in childhood obesity as a result of inactivity during the covid-19 lockdown; and what steps he will take to tackle that issue.

Answered on

7 July 2020

While schools have been closed to some pupils the Government has taken steps to support those who have had restricted opportunity to exercise while at home. As part of its guidance on remote education provision the Government has published online educational resources approved by subject experts for schools and parents to help children to take part in PE and physical activity. In addition, Sport England have free online content to help children and their families get active at home through their Join the Movement campaign.

The Change4Life website also includes information on how to keep children active, including links to online resources and providers, such as games and activities, as well as advice for accessible activities for disabled children and is available at the following link:

https://www.nhs.uk/change4life/activities

The Government is working to ensure that schools are fully supported as they welcome more children back to school and schools are able to give pupils opportunities to be physically active during the school day.

Many of the measures in the three chapters of the childhood obesity plan will have an impact on tackling obesity. These include the soft drinks industry levy, sugar reduction and wider calorie reformulation programme, restricting promotions and calorie labelling in restaurants which will improve children’s eating habits and reduce the amount of sugar they consume.

We remain committed to reviewing what more can be done and will continue to monitor progress and emerging evidence.

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care