Analysis

Giving children the best start in life

Much has been made by government and policymakers of the need for the NHS to become efficient in return for the extra investment being made during this parliament. But there is another element that NHS England’s Five-Year Forward View flagged up last year – the need for people to live healthier lives

Much has been made by government and policymakers of the need for the NHS to become efficient in return for the extra investment being made during this parliament. But there is another element that NHS England’s Five-Year Forward View flagged up last year – the need for people to live healthier lives.

Top of the agenda in this drive is obesity. NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens has even gone as far to describe it as ‘the new smoking’. It is easy to see why when it comes to children. By the start of primary school one in five children are overweight or obese. By the end one in three are.

In recent weeks, the focus has been on sugar consumption. In July the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, which advises government, suggested no more than 5% of daily calories should come from added sugar – half the

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