Tackling Obesity

Wednesday 13 March 2013, 12:00pm

Motion detail

“This Assembly notes that obesity and overweightness cost the NHS in London £2.3bn annually, and that one in five children in London are obese, a higher proportion than the rest of the UK. In light of this problem, the Assembly welcomes the findings and recommendations in the Academy of Medical Royal College’s report on obesity, ‘Measuring Up, The Medical Profession’s Prescription for The Nation’s Obesity Crisis’. This report, which represents the views of the vast majority of the UK’s 220,000 practising doctors, concludes that public programmes and policies have been largely piecemeal and disappointingly ineffective.

This report presents ten key steps it believes must be taken to make real inroads into tackling the obesity crisis. 

• Providing education and training programmes for healthcare professionals

• Increase funding for weight management services

• Putting in place nutritional standards for food in hospitals

• Increasing support for new parents

• Supporting nutritional standards, cooking and food growing in all schools

• Limiting fast food outlets near schools

• Protecting children from junk food advertising

• Introducing a sugary drinks tax

• Expanding food labelling to fast food outlets and other out of home settings 

• Improving the built environment to encourage physical activity

This Assembly notes the Mayor’s failure to achieve statutory powers for the London Health Improvement Board (LHIB). One of its key priority work streams had been tackling childhood obesity. However, this Assembly notes the opportunity presented in the emerging plans that are being developed by London Councils for setting up a London Health Board, and proposals for the Mayor to chair this board.

The London Assembly therefore calls on the Mayor of London to urgently review his obesity policies. In particular, this Assembly urges the Mayor to take account of the findings and recommendations of both the London Assembly’s Tipping the Scales and the Academy of Medical Royal College’s Measuring Up reports, and ensure that the recommendations relevant to the Mayor’s duties and functions are reflected in his strategies, programmes and decisions, and in his potential role as chair of the emerging London Health Board.”