By: 9 June 2015
NHS chief addresses next generation obesity

ITF supports NHS call for further obesity campaigns and #ActEarlier4Health

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens has called for a campaign to tackle obesity by targeting the unhealthy marketing to children in a move supported by the Infant and Toddler Forum (ITF). Stevens emphasises that failure to act on obesity can result in diseases such as cancer and avoidable type 2 diabetes, with effects beginning as early as during pregnancy.

The ITF has welcomed Stevens’ focus on the “importance of educating parents on the dangers of poor diets, and its effects in pregnancy.”

Judy More, paediatric dietitian and member of the ITF, said: “We support encouraging improvements in eating habits not only from birth but even earlier at preconception and pregnancy. These periods in a woman’s life should be seen as ‘windows of opportunity’, to improve health for herself and her baby and prevent obesity in the next generation. Our report ‘Early Nutrition for Later Health: Time to Act Earlier’, highlights the need to take a life course approach to health and wellbeing starting before pregnancy, and continuing throughout the very early years to encourage healthy family lifestyles.”

The ITF is calling on healthcare professionals and families to join the healthy conversation to combat obesity on Twitter. You can follow @InfTodForum and support the initiative using the hashtag #ActEarlier4Health.