The forthcoming Spending Review must invest in community sports and leisure facilities, along with long-term funding for local authority weight-management services and healthy schools initiatives, to help counter the obesity crisis, the LGA has said.
Type 2 diabetes treatment rates in children and young people – a condition normally seen only in older adults and closely linked to obesity – has rocketed by nearly 60 per cent in just five years, new LGA analysis reveals.
It says the latest figures highlight the urgent need to kick-start efforts to tackle childhood obesity following repeated lockdowns and the impact of the pandemic, which has meant some children and young people have found it harder to access support to manage their weight and live more healthily.
Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “It is extremely worrying that we are seeing more young people develop Type 2 diabetes, a preventable condition that is rare in children and more typically develops in adults over the age of 40.
“These figures are yet another sobering reminder that there is much more to do to reach the Government’s bold ambition of halving the number of children with obesity by the end of the decade.
“This is why the Government should use the upcoming Spending Review to invest in councils’ public health budgets, if we are to realise our shared ambition of helping our children and young people live healthier lives as we build back better from the pandemic.”