One in five children aged 11 are obese, and the proportion of 10-11-year-old children classified as obese increased from 17.5% to 20.1% between 2006-07 and 2017-18. Obesity often results in lower life expectancy and a higher chance of suffering from cancer, diabetes and other health problems. NHS England estimates that the NHS spent £6.1bn on overweight and obesity related ill-health in 2014-15. It is estimated that obesity costs wider society £27 billion a year.
This study will assess how well the Department of Health and Social Care understands the causes of childhood obesity and whether it has learned from its previous efforts to reduce the problem. It will also examine whether the Department’s actions and those of local authorities are informed by robust evidence and targeted where they will have maximum impact. It will also consider the potential impact of the COVID pandemic, for example, school closures and limits on outside activity.