Evennett backs Government plans to halve Childhood Obesity

Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, has backed Chapter 2 of the Government’s Childhood Obesity Strategy, which was released over the weekend and, after consultation and legislation, aims to halve the number of obese children by 2030.

Measures in the Government’s Strategy include:

-       Ending the sale of energy drinks to children

-       Calorie labelling for the out of home sector (e.g. restaurants, cafes and takeaways) in England

-       Introducing a 9pm watershed on TV advertising for certain products

-       Promote a national ambition for every primary school to adopt an active mile initiative, such as the Daily Mile

-       Invest over £1.6million during 2018/19 to support cycling and walking to school

-       Consult on plans to use Healthy Start vouchers to provide additional support to children from lower income families

Sir David has strongly campaigned for action to tackle childhood obesity, and secured a Westminster Hall Debate on ‘Childhood Obesity in Bexley’ in March. He also organised a visit to Bexley from the Public Health Minister, Steve Brine MP, earlier this month so that Mr Brine could meet with leading local health professionals, officials and local Councillors, to learn about how the issue is being addressed locally.

In welcoming the Strategy in the House of Commons yesterday (25 June), Sir David commented:

“I welcome my hon. Friend’s proposals, and I am grateful for his recent visit to Bexley to see our local plans for coping and dealing with childhood obesity. Chapter 2 is a good plan. Does he agree that targeting sedentary lifestyles is a top priority, and that to do so we need parental involvement?”

The Minister, Mr Brine responded:

“It was a pleasure to visit my right hon. Friend’s constituency to see how Bexley Council is using its power, money and public health grant—the council made it very clear to me that it would like more, and my right hon. Friend is a very good advocate on the council’s behalf—to bring forward a whole community response like the one I saw in Amsterdam. I would like to see much more of that in England.”