Targeted training will be available for health visitors and school nurses to tackle childhood obesity according to the new childhood obesity strategy released by Public Health England (PHE).
Training for health visitors and schools nurses will also be made available due to their 'unique positioning which enables them to identify weight issues in children early on'.There will also be a review of health visitor and midwife visits to ensure that new families receive the best advice.
PHE will also develop advice for how schools can work with school nurses, health centres and healthy weight teams in local authorities to encourage physical activity and healthy eating in children. This includes the launch of a new interactive online tool which will help schools plan at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day with the children.
However, healthcare professionals and organisations have expressed dismay at the 'weak and disappointing' plan.
The plan, which has been delayed twice since last year, has been called a missed opportunity for the UK to become 'a world leader in protecting infants, children and young people against obesity'.
Neena Modi, the president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said that taxes on unnecessary unhealthy foods, restrictions on fast food outlets near schools, banning advertising of junk foods, would have made a strategy 'of which to be proud'.
'Instead, infants and children have been let down, and because the overwhelming majority of obese children will become obese adults, Government is placing the health of the entire nation in grave jeopardy. This is short-termism at its worse,' she said.
The plan included the introduction of a levy on sugary drinks. In England, the revenue will be invested in programmes to reduce obesity and encourage physical actitivity and balanced diets for school-age children including a further £10million per year into school breakfast clubs.
The Institute of Health Visiting said: 'We had hoped that it would be much more far reaching, however these are constructive first steps.'
Public Health Minister Nicola Blackwood drew on the Rio 2016 Olympics as inspiration for encouraging more physical activity in schools.' We need to keep that inspiration alive when children go back to school in September - that’s why we’re asking schools and parents to ensure children do an extra hour a of physical activity every day.'