Combined authority to review measures to combat obesity
Posted: Mon, 05 Nov 2018 12:01
The West Midlands Combined Authority's (WMCA) Wellbeing Board agreed to look at a number of measures to help reverse the rise in obesity levels.
Figures from Public Health England show a quarter of reception children aged four to five in the West Midlands are overweight or obese – rising to one in three by the time they reach Year Six (aged 10 – 11).
Potential interventions being explored include banning junk food adverts near schools and on the back of bus tickets.
Initiatives to encourage schoolchildren to do more exercise are also being considered, including campaigns such as 'West Midlands on the Move' and the 'Active Mile' (or Daily Mile) programme where children are encouraged to walk up to a mile a day.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe (pictured), WMCA portfolio holder for Wellbeing and leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: "Obesity, and in particular childhood obesity, is a serious issue for our region and we need to tackle it as a matter of urgency.
"Obesity poses a number of very real dangers for our children including emotional and behavioural problems stemming from low self-esteem and bullying and which can lead to absences from school.
"There are also the physical health issues such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, breathing difficulties and the risk of premature death in later life.
"That's why we have agreed to look seriously at a number of proposals including a ban on adverts on the back of bus ticket and near schools that promote food products that are high in fat, salt and sugar."
The WMCA will now set up a Wellbeing group specifically to develop and support the anti-obesity agenda.