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Young People: Obesity

Volume 485: debated on Tuesday 9 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what guidance his Department issues to schools on reducing obesity levels among persons aged under 16 years; what recent representations he has received on the issue; and if he will make a statement. (241140)

The Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives strategy sets out what the Government will do to reduce obesity but also calls on all parts of society to act. Schools have a vital part to play in helping children achieve and maintain a healthy weight. The Department has made available guidance and resources to help schools provide a healthy environment by providing nutritious school lunches, improving participation in high quality PE and sport opportunities, helping children learn about health through personal, social, health and economic education and practical activities such as cooking. Guidance and support is also provided to the 90 per cent. of schools that are currently participating in the national healthy schools programme, which promotes a whole-school approach to health, for example Guidance for Schools on Healthy Eating, and Physical Activity Guidance. Guidance from this Department and the Department of Health is issued to schools on how they can support the National Child Measurement Programme, which collects essential height and weight data on primary school pupils in Reception and Year 6.

DCSF and DH Secretaries of State recently met with a diverse coalition of people including parents, nongovernmental organisations, supermarkets and representatives of the food industry who have agreed to join the Change4Life movement. Change4Life will create an unprecedented coalition for better health which will help families to eat well, move more and live longer.