Obesity and Diabetes

Department of Health written question – answered on 20th October 2014.

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Photo of Laura Sandys Laura Sandys Conservative, South Thanet

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, to what extent responsibility for preventing the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes (a) has been devolved to Public Health England and (b) remains with his Department.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

As steward of the health and care system, the Department sets national priorities, secures and allocates resources, supports our national bodies and holds them to account. The Department carries out this function for the prevention of obesity and diabetes. “Healthy Lives, Healthy People: A Call to Action on obesity in England” is the strategy by which this is delivered and I chair the Obesity Review Group which reviews and holds the system to account.

The delivery of national public health functions in this regard is the responsibility of Public Health England (PHE) including campaigns such as Change4Life, the National Child Measurement Programme and NHS Health Checks. PHE supports local authorities and the health system through making available evidence and information on the important role of tackling poor diets, physical inactivity and excess weight in both the primary prevention of diabetes and as part of disease management.

In addition NHS England has a key role to play on the prevention on obesity and diabetes. “Action for Diabetes”, published in January, sets out NHS England’s broad vision and direction for supporting improvements in outcomes for people with and at risk of diabetes in the coming years, both as a direct commissioner and by providing support to the commissioning system. The report is available at:


“Living Well for Longer: National Support for Local Action to Reduce Premature Avoidable Mortality”, published in April, sets out the actions being taken across Government, PHE and NHS England to reduce premature avoidable mortality.

A copy of Living Well for Longer has already been placed in the Library and is also available at:


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