Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive of NCB said:
'Obese children not only suffer the consequences of ill health while they are children, but they are also more likely to be struck down with conditions such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes as adults. Now, at last, we have a plan for reducing obesity early in life.
'Introducing a new sugar tax and reducing the amount of sugar in foods should help reduce the scandalous level of unnecessary sugar that we eat and help children and their families to choose a healthier diet.
'But the money raised from the sugar tax must be used to shore up recent cuts in public health spending so we can encourage more children to understand how the food they eat affects their health. This strategy undervalues the role of local authorities in improving public health and could do more to fully utilise health professionals like health visitors and school nurses, who can play an important part in tackling obesity.
'Controlling how advertising and promotions are used to entice children and their families to choose unhealthy foods could have further supported public health initiatives. The Government’s failure to stop aggressive marketing tactics used by the food and drink industry could undermine efforts to reduce childhood obesity.
‘Research published in our report Poor Beginnings, shows how obesity in young children is linked with deprivation and urgent action is needed to narrow the gap in health outcomes between children living in rich and poor areas.’