Resort health bosses have welcomed a planned crackdown on ‘excess calories’ in ready meals, pizzas, burgers, snacks, and sandwiches and urged parents to help.
A national programme aimed at tackling obesity in children will be put together by Public Health England by the start of next year, and will target ‘the foods children consume the most’.
More than a third of 11-year-olds in Blackpool are overweight or obese, figures published by The Gazette last year revealed, as are nearly three quarters of adults.
“We always support initiatives to improve children’s health, and welcome opportunities to develop how we tackle childhood obesity,” Coun Amy Cross, the council’s cabinet member for reducing health inequalities, said.
Public Health England said it will publish research on children’s calorie intake before consulting with food industry giants on cutting the calories in their products.
The government had also pledged £5m to help better understand the causes of childhood obesity.
Coun Cross said: “Children from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to be obese and this is why we focus on this in Blackpool.
“Parents can influence children’s eating habits – children watch and imitate their parents, which then leads to learned behaviour.”
Health minister Philip Dunne added: “Too many of our children are growing up obese, which can lead to serious health complications.
“We must take a comprehensive approach and now focus on excess calories.”