The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has begun his search for a Chair and Board members to lead the city’s new Child Obesity Taskforce, aiming to combat the epidemic of childhood obesity across the capital.
Nearly 40 per cent of children aged 10 and 11 in London are overweight or obese and adults in London have higher rates of obesity than comparable global cities such as New York, Sydney, Paris and Madrid.
The Mayor aims to significantly reduce this unacceptable level of child obesity in London by 2028. He also aims to tackle the stark differences between different boroughs in the city.
Obesity rates are highest in the most deprived 10 per cent of the population – approximately twice that of the least deprived 10 per cent. The rate of children who are overweight or obese in year six living in Barking and Dagenham is nearly 44 per cent whereas in Richmond it is 25 per cent. Reducing this inequality gap is a key public health priority for the Mayor, and will be a major focus of the new taskforce.
Childhood obesity can lead to the early onset of conditions traditionally associated with old age, such as type 2 diabetes, poor oral health and cardiovascular disease. It is also associated with poor psychological and emotional health, lower educational attainment and poor sleep. Obese children are also likely to experience bullying linked to their weight and are more likely to become obese adults living with the condition and consequences for life and with a higher risk of morbidity, disability and premature death in adulthood.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London is the world’s greatest city and I want every young Londoner to be able to fulfil their potential and make the most of the opportunities that the city gives them.
“Tackling the childhood obesity epidemic in the capital is a crucial part of ensuring that all young Londoners are able to flourish and lead happy, healthy lives.
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