Nick Smith MP Labour MP for Blaenau Gwent
Blaenau Gwent MP Nick Smith is supporting calls to ensure that tackling childhood obesity remains a priority for the Government.
On Wednesday July 3, Nick Smith MP attended an event held by the Obesity Health Alliance – a coalition of more than 40 leading charities, medical royal colleges and campaign groups – to support calls for the Government to push on with plans to reduce childhood obesity.
Encouraging healthy lifestyles for children is an issue that Mr Smith has been trumpeting for many years, leading calls for a pre-watershed ban on junk food advertising, and promoting community activities such as daily miles for schools and local junior parkrun events.
At the event this week – organised to mark the one-year anniversary of chapter 2 of the Government’s childhood obesity plan – Mr Smith heard from obesity experts about a scorecard detailing progress made in the last year.
The Obesity Health Alliance says that the Government needs to act following lengthy consultations into plans to ban the sale of energy drinks to children, for mandatory calorie labelling in cafes, restaurants and takeaways, and on restricting the promotion of unhealthy food.
Nick Smith MP said: “Tackling childhood obesity is something I am very passionate about, it’s so important to give children the healthiest start in life to avoid problems later on.
“Just this week Cancer Research UK have released a report which says that obesity now causes more cases of common cancers than smoking.
“The Government has a big part to play in tackling this, and should be doing all it can to create an environment which fosters healthier lifestyles for children.
“The majority of the proposals set out in the Government’s childhood obesity plan have stalled.
“It’s one year on since the plan was launched and now it’s time for action.”
Caroline Cerny, Obesity Health Alliance Lead, said: “It’s great to see MPs pledging to support Obesity Health Alliance calls for obesity to remain a Government priority.
“With the current political climate, progress has been slower than we’d have liked.
“The Government now needs to get on and make sure child-friendly policies such as a 9pm watershed on junk food adverts on TV and online are brought in as quickly and effectively as possible.”