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Obesity: Coronavirus

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 7200, tabled on 25 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on levels of obesity among (a) children and (b) adults in (i) Coventry North East constituency, (ii) Coventry, (iii) the West Midlands and (iv) England; and what steps his Department is taking to tackle obesity in those areas.

Answered on

7 June 2021

There has been no such assessment because there is no data covering obesity trends during the COVID-19 pandemic as the Health Survey England (HSE) fieldwork was suspended in March 2020. Previously the HSE found approximately a third of adults were classified as obese in surveys over the last 20 years, and before then (1993 – 2000) obesity levels had increased.

We published ‘Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives’ in July 2020. The strategy demonstrates an overarching campaign to reduce obesity, takes forward actions from the childhood obesity plan and sets out measures to get the nation fit and healthy, protect against COVID-19 and protect the National Health Service.

As part of delivering the strategy, on 23 March the Government announced it was dedicating £34.9 million of funding to support the expansion of local authority weight management services for adults, children, and families in 2021/22. As part of this, Coventry City Council has been allocated £331,229 and local authorities in the West Midlands a combined total of £3,968,705 from the Adult Weight Management Services Grant. All local authorities were also invited to submit an expression of interest for funding from a second grant to test the expansion of behavioural weight management services for children and families and pilot an intervention to improve access to local services for children identified as overweight or obese through the national child measurement programme. Successful applicants will be announced shortly.

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