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15 councils put obese children on ‘at risk’ register or take them into care

FoI request reveals LA action in last two years

In the week preceding the publication of the government's action plan for childhood obesity, it has been reported that at least 15 councils have taken children into care or put children on child protection registers in cases in the past two years in cases where obesity or high body mass index was a factor. 67 other councils said they had not used such measures, with a further 81 councils saying that it would take too long to check their records.

The information was revealed by a Freedom of Information request made by the Manchester Evening News.

Dr Mair Parry, Officer for Wales for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said:

"Obesity in children is a massive problem. Wales has the worst rate for childhood obesity in the UK, with more than a quarter of children at reception age overweight or obese.

"We know that the effect of being overweight whilst a child can cause worrying health issues such as heart disease, asthma and diabetes later on in life. That is why we want to see Government make taking the healthy choice, the easy choice. Local authorities need to be encouraged to introduce 20mph speed limits in all built-up areas to create safer environments for children to be active.

"We also need to see children exposed to positive health and wellbeing choices by introducing evidence-based personal and social education (PSE) programmes across primary and secondary schools."

For the Manchester Evening News report, please click here. For the government's action plan for childhood obesity, click here.