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Health chief asks for urgent action on child obesity

Professor Neena Modi, who became RCPCH president last month is urging the government to address childhood obesity.

“I don’t think anyone can ignore that fact that obesity is a huge problem. An obese child is going to be an obese adult, which is going to adversely impact on their own life chances, but also impact on the health of the nation.  The lack of policies around child health in the manifesto did come as a surprise and one can only assume given the flurry of activity that it got forgotten about.  I hope it is something the conservative government will pick up on again.”

A survey commissioned by them showed that 2/3 of people want TV adverts for food high in fat, sugar and salt banned before the 9pm watershed.

She asks for tighter regulation of the food industry due to the failure of self-regulation to effectively tackle the promotion of unhealthy food.

“What has happened before hasn’t worked,” she said. “If something doesn’t work, we need to move on and test the alternatives.”

She advised that the RCPCH and Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGPs) is working on a joint strategy this year to improve training and co-ordination of care across hospital and community-based care.

She also wants to see improvements in data collection around children’s health to help further improve services.

“We do not have sufficient high-quality information about what is happening to the health of our children and I would really like to see a new emphasis on proper data collection on children’s health,” she added.