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Annual health survey for England confirms scale of obesity crisis

NHS Digital published its annual health survey for England this week - with figures showing no decline in the numbers of people overweight or obese.

Faculty of Public Health Vice President Simon Capewell said: “These figures from NHS Digital underline the need for a comprehensive strategy and tough action to combat the ever-expanding obesity crisis facing both adults and our children.

“Nearly two thirds of adults (63%) and 28% of children are overweight or obese.

“The Soft Drinks Industry Levy will help, but it should only be the start in our efforts to curb the intake of sugar and fat to help save millions of people from shortened lives blighted by disease. The next step, which will cost the government nothing, is a ban on junk-food marketing to children. We need a comprehensive strategy for both adults and children or an already over-stretched and under-staffed NHS will be placed under an impossible strain.

“Only one in five children aged 5-15 are at least moderately active outside school for at least 60 minutes every day. That shocking figure underlines the need for investment to promote and encourage walking and cycling and in healthy leisure services and facilities. Sadly, local authorities are instead cutting such services.

“The survey also confirms the terrible impact that under-funding of social care has on people’s lives with rising levels of unmet need."

Read the Health Survey for England

Written: 15/12/2016 , last modified: 04/01/2017