Children: Obesity

Department for Education written question – answered on 2nd July 2015.

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Photo of David Simpson David Simpson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking in schools to tackle childhood obesity.

Photo of Sam Gyimah Sam Gyimah The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

This government has made a manifesto commitment to tackle childhood obesity. Many of the Department for Education’s polices make a direct contribution to tackling obesity in school age children. The School Food Plan was published in 2013 to encourage and promote a positive healthy food culture in schools. New food standards were introduced earlier this year and universal infant free school meals have been implemented so that we now have an average of 85% of children in reception, Year 1 and Year 2 eating a healthy and nutritious lunch. Pupils in primary and secondary schools are taught about the importance of leading healthy and active lives, including diet, nutrition and exercise through the new national curriculum. Food and nutrition education is now compulsory from Key Stage 1 to 3 – this is the first time it has been compulsory in secondary schools. Over £300 million of ring-fenced funding has been allocated to primary schools through the primary PE and sport premium since 2013 to help pupils develop healthy lifestyles.

In addition, the department is actively engaged in work across government to develop a national obesity framework by the end of this year.

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