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Councils share £1.5m to combat childhood obesity.

Five Councils have been selected to implement new projects to tackle childhood obesity over the next three years.

The Department of Health and Social Care, the Local Government Association and Public Health England (PHE) are to provide £1.5m funding to trial new programmes, which could shape future national policy.

Birmingham, Blackburn with Darwen, Bradford, Lewisham and Nottinghamshire councils will each receive £100,000 funding per year for three years to test and refine ideas for addressing childhood obesity and health inequalities.

Proposed programmes include:

Birmingham City Council - to offer health, food, nutrition and physical-activity focused apprenticeships for 15- to 19-year-olds in deprived areas where obesity rates are highest.

Blackburn with Darwen Council – to work with local restaurants and takeaways to incentivise them to offer healthier options.

Bradford - to provide places and fun ways to exercise, alongside healthier food education and partnering with local mosques to support South Asian children who are at a greater risk of obesity.

Lewisham - to test its powers to restrict advertising for products that are high in fat, salt or sugar and utilise unsold outdoor advertising space for health-promoting advertisements.

Nottinghamshire -to test low-cost healthy food recipe boxes.

Public health minister Seema Kennedy commented "These pilots are rightly rooted in the needs of the communities they serve and I look forward to seeing what benefits this grassroots approach has on our nation's obesity problem”.