MPs tackle growing problem of child obesity

13th June 2003 at 01:00
EDUCATION officials were among those from five government departments questioned by MPs yesterday over the Government's failure to stem the rise in child obesity.

The meeting was part of a nine-month inquiry led by the health select committee into obesity.

England comes 15th in the International Obesity Taskforce's league table.

Only those in Greece and the Czech Republic, among our fellow Europeans, are fatter.

Evidence already submitted to MPs shows that one in 10 six-year-olds in England is now considered obese. The number of children with the problem has trebled in the past 20 years.

The Central Council for Physical Recreation has warned MPs that rising obesity levels are linked to increasing inactivity among young people.

Nigel Hook, head of policy at the council, said: "Prevention is better than cure. Curriculum PE is the best way to encourage young people to become active. Yet more than half of pupils currently do less than two hours a week in schools."

The select committee's report is expected to be published in the autumn.

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