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Government denies losing fat fight

The government has hit back at claims that ministers are failing to tackle the obesity epidemic affecting the UK.

At Lords question time, Conservative frontbencher Baroness Verma said: "The government has conceded that obesity poses a public health problem in the UK, on the same scale as the potential crisis caused by climate change.

"Why then have they halved the Lottery funding for community sport and decided to push back their target to halt the rise in childhood obesity from 2010 to 2020?"

But Baroness Crawley, for the government, said: "The new ambition is not a watering down of the 2010 target. It goes further.

"Whereas the 2010 target was to halt the rise in childhood obesity, the new ambition not only aims to reduce the prevalence of obesity in children but also the prevalence of the overweight to 2000 levels by 2020."

She added: "As far as healthy schools are concerned £100m-a-year has been spent to get food standards up there. At present 86% of children get two hours-a-week of high quality physical education as opposed to only 50% in 2004.

"Obesity is not simply about eating less and exercising more.

"There are food production factors, food consumption, physiology, psychology, individual physical activity and the actual physical activity environment that we live in."

Department of Health

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