Hundreds of our children under 5 are overweight

Plans to tackle childhood obesity in Bucks were given the green light this week, after it was revealed hundreds of children under the age of five in the county are overweight.
Plans to tackle childhood obesity in Bucks were given the green light this week, after it was revealed hundreds of children under the age of five in the county are overweight.

Bucks County Council have launched an action plan to tackle childhood obesity after shocking figures reveal hundreds of our kids are overweight.

Plans to tackle childhood obesity in Bucks were given the green light this week, after it was revealed hundreds of children under the age of five in the county are overweight.

Actions to be taken following Bucks County Council’s childhood obesity inquiry include supporting schools to deliver personal, social and health education (PSHE) “in a consistent and coherent way” and appointing healthy eating ambassadors in pre-schools.

On Monday, BCC’s cabinet gave the nod to the plans which the health and adult social care select committee has spent nearly a year working on.

Chairman of the inquiry group, Brian Roberts, said obesity is an “extremely complex” issue adding there is “no single solution” to solve the problem.

He said: “The government’s childhood obesity plan which was published in 2016 aims to reduce England’s rate of obesity over the next 10 years.

“So this inquiry is built around testing how well Buckinghamshire was doing at tackling the issue. When we first looked at this it was a case of how do we start and how do we finish because it’s so complex.

“So we thought about what we could do to push it up the agenda for everybody to listen because it is a very serious problem.

“We cannot reinvent the wheel, but certainly if we can push it up the agenda to bring to everyone’s attention as a team all of us together we can make a difference.”

Council figures show that up to 1,000 children in reception classes across the county are overweight or obese, or the equivalent of one in six children.

The issue appears to become more severe as children get older, as more than a quarter of pupils in Year 6 are classed as being either overweight or obese.

Cllr Lin Hazell branded the figures “frightening” and asked why there was no mention of the role of parents in tackling obesity in the report.

However, Cllr Roberts said approaching parents “would be a pretty daunting task”, however added the message will be spread through a number of community bases, including churches, mosques, libraries and councils.

Cllr Jean Teesdale said one contributing factor to childhood obesity could be that more parents are going out to work than ever before – which means they may not have the time to cook healthy meals.

She said: “Nowadays people go out, they are working, they pick the kids up, and they end up eating stuff that’s just not doing them any good, and I don’t know how we get around that.

“We need to put more pressure on trying to get more people to cook. I know economically today people have to work, I am not criticising them for going to work.”

The health and adult social care select committee will be updated on how the implementation of plans is going after six and 12 months.

To view the full list of recommendations visit https://democracy.buckscc.gov.uk/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=123654