This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Delays to the Childhood Obesity Strategy will ‘damage children’s health’

Written by: | Published:

The controversial sugar tax has been named as one The controversial sugar tax has been named as one reason for the delay

The government’s decision to delay unveiling its Childhood Obesity Strategy until the summer has met with criticism from nursing and healthcare bodies.

The strategy, which was initally scheduled for release in December 2015, was previously delayed until early 2016. Now it is not expected to be published until this summer.

Fiona Smith, professional lead for children and young people’s nursing, at the Royal College of Nursing, said: ‘Many nurses will be quite alarmed by continuing delays in publishing a strategy which deals with [childhood obesity], and allows nurses to play their part in helping address the root causes of this epidemic.’

She says an effective strategy is needed to support the health service ‘which could be easily overwhelmed’ with the increasing levels of childhood obesity.

Sara Patience, a nutritionist and health visitor said the strategy is an immensely important development which should pave the way for better health outcomes for the country’s children. She said health visitors and school nurses are well placed to advise on ‘the prevention of obesity, identify children at risk of obesity and with correct training and adequate work force, to offer interventions.

‘Hopefully the strategy will practically support the health visiting and school nursing role in obesity prevention. However, this strategy must address the role of the food industry, and will hopefully include further restrictions on advertising, promotions of unhealthy foods and the introduction of a sugar tax,’ she adds.

Health experts and public figures have been campaigning for a sugar tax to be introduced but the government has still not committed to whether this will be included in the Obesity Strategy. A spokesperson said they are still considering all options.

Members of the Obesity Alliance, a grouping of charities and healthcare bodies, have expressed concern about the increased risks to children’s health caused by the delay of the strategy.

The Obesity Alliance is urging prime minister David Cameron to ‘show strong leadership’, and calls on the government to take ‘urgent steps to address the obesity crisis’.

A Department of Health spokesperson said: ‘We are now confirming that the childhood obesity strategy will be published in summer.

‘The strategy will be a key step forward in helping our children live healthier lives, but there is still work to be done to get it right.’

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Comments

This has been long time coming. Hopefully it will not be long anymore for this long awaited obesity prevention strategy to guide and enhance Hv practice
Posted by: ,
Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
 

Most read articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Practice Nursing Journal latest issue and most read articles.

Click here to read a selection of free to access articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Newsletter

Sign up to the newsletter

About

Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.

Archive

Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team

Authors

Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.