Shockingly, Britain now has a higher proportion of children classed as obese at the age of 11 than America; one in three British children is overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school. A report by Public Health England (PHE) showed that the food industry has failed over the past year to hit its target to cut the sugar in food by 5% and that 68% of the top 20 food companies have either made no progress or increased sugar in their products. In comparison, sugar in soft drinks has reduced by 11% – a direct consequence of the tax on sugary drinks.
At PMQs this month I asked the Prime Minister if she would admit that the voluntary approach is simply not working and whether she would take the necessary action to tackle childhood obesity. Her response was typically vague, but I will keep up the pressure for the next phase of the Childhood Obesity Plan to be far more ambitious.