Mother and Son quality time Image: Open Government Licence v3.0

One in three children leave primary school overweight or obese

The government is asking local authorities to apply to its Trailblazer programme, in partnership with the Local Government Association (LGA).

This three-year programme forms part of the second chapter of the government’s childhood obesity plan. This includes the aim to halve childhood obesity by 2030.

Up to 12 local authorities will be supported to develop practical plans, and in spring next year 5 authorities will be selected.

Bedford Borough Council is reviewing the information available and considering making an application to take part in the programme.

A Borough Council spokesperson said:

“Obesity is complex and has many causes, including behaviour, environment, genetics and culture. Long-term, sustainable change will only be achieved through the active engagement of schools, communities, families and individuals.

“Bedford Borough’s Excess Weight Partnership Strategy provides a comprehensive approach to ensuring that we create a healthier environment where children, families and adults are encouraged to be more active and eat more healthily.”

Council already offers weight management advice

The Council commissions an integrated weight management service which includes programmes for pregnant women and for children, young people and their families. It is also increasing support for schools and early years settings.

The spokesperson said:

“Bedford Borough is better than or similar to the national average in all categories of measurements for child obesity.”

Trailblazer local authorities will be on the programme for 3 years. During that time they will be given expert advice to help realise their plans, as well as £100,000 per year in support funding.

Successful approaches to reducing childhood obesity will be considered for shaping national policy.