Next stage of childhood obesity plan

Public Health England (PHE) announces plans to consider the evidence, set guidelines and closely monitor progress on calorie reduction.

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One year on from the publication of the childhood obesity plan, Public Health England has announced it will consider the evidence on children’s calorie consumption and set the ambition for the calorie reduction programme to remove excess calories from the foods children consume the most.  Ready meals, pizzas, burgers, savoury snacks and sandwiches are the kinds of foods likely to be included in the programme.

In addition, the Department of Health has announced £5 million of funding for a new Obesity Policy Research Unit to provide resources for long term research into childhood obesity.  Also, the Obesity Health Alliance has published a report card assessing progress during the first year of the childhood obesity plan.

 

Children and teens let down by mental health inpatient services in England

Inpatient provision for children and young people with mental health problems. Emily Frith | Education Policy Institute | via OnMedica

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Image source: epi.org.uk

A report from the Education Policy Institute has found that 12% of  child mental health inpatient units failed to meet basic requirements for staff to patient ratios.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of units struggle to employ permanent staff – up from 17% since 2014/15. Temporary bank and agency staff make up 19% of child mental health inpatient pay costs.

Staff shortages affect the quality of patient care, so a sustained focus on recruitment of skilled staff to work in child and adolescent mental health services is needed, recommends the report.

The report also found:

  • inpatient mental health services for young people on average fail to meet 7% of minimum quality of care standards
  • The issue of bed shortages can mean that children with mental health problems are admitted to adult wards
  • Eating disorders were the most common reason for a young person being admitted to hospital in 2015/16
  • Young people are being left in hospital for longer than necessary due to a lack of community services with the trend getting worse – the number of delayed discharge days in December 2016 – February 2017 42% higher than in the same period the previous year

Full story at OnMedica

Download full report: Inpatient provision for children and young people with mental health problems.

Number of children getting enough physical activity drops by 40%

Change4Life together with Disney and Sport England launches ’10 minute shake up’ campaign to help get children more active.

The number of children meeting the recommended amount of physical activity for healthy development and to maintain a healthy weight, 60 minutes a day, drops by 40% as they move through primary school.

A new survey from Public Health England (PHE) and Disney looked at the effects of physical activity on children’s emotional wellbeing, and found:

  • being active made the majority of 5 to 11 year olds feel happier (79%), more confident (72%), and more sociable (74%), according to their parents
  • nearly all children said they liked being active (93%)
  • the main motivations for kids to be more active was having friends to join in (53%) and having more activities they liked to choose from (48%)
  • children’s overall happiness declines with age; 64% of 5 and 6 year olds said they always feel happy, compared to just 48% of 11 year olds
  • 19% of children said they were less active due to a lack of sports or activities they enjoyed

More information:

Millions of children in England living vulnerable or high risk lives

The Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, is today (Tuesday 4 July) publishing new analysis that reveals, for the first time, the scale of vulnerability among children in England.

  • Almost 700,000 children are living in families that have vulnerabilities, including over 15,000 children living with an adult receiving alcohol treatment and nearly 12,000 living with an adult in drug treatment.
  • 580,000 children – equivalent to the population of Manchester – are so vulnerable that the state has to step in and provide direct care, intervention or support.
  • 370,000 children whose actions have put their futures at risk, including 160,000 children temporarily or permanently excluded from school in England.
  • 800,000 children aged 5 to 17 suffer mental health disorders.
  • 200,000 children are judged by their local authority to have experienced trauma or abuse.
  • An estimated 46,000 children are thought to be part of a gang.
  • 119,000 children are homeless or living in insecure or unstable housing.
  • 170,000 children are estimated to do unpaid caring for family members, of which many have not been identified and offered support.
  • 1,200 children are newly identified victims of modern slavery per year.

Full report available here

Start active, stay active

The Department of Health has produced a series of infographics as part of it’s ‘Start active, stay active’ series explaining the physical activity required to achieve general health benefits for different age ranges.

forest-662427_1920The following infographics relate to the report by the UK’s 4 Chief Medical Officers for the NHS, local authorities and a range of other organisations designing services to promote physical activity.

Physical activity for pregnant women

Physical activity benefits for babies and children (birth-5 years old)

Physical activity for children and young people (5-18 years old)

Physical activity benefits infographic for adults and older people

National child measurement programme operational guidance

Guidance for local commissioners, providers and schools on running the national child measurement programme (NCMP) as part of the government’s commitment to tackling the public health challenge of excess weight.

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The publication of the Childhood Obesity Plan: A Plan for Action, in August 2016 shows that tackling child obesity is a priority for the Government. The plan aims to significantly reduce England’s rate of childhood obesity within the next ten years. Most local authorities have also identified addressing childhood obesity as a key issue in their health and wellbeing strategies, and reducing obesity is prioritised in many Sustainability and Transformation Plans.

The NCMP is key to monitoring the progress of the Government’s Childhood Obesity Plan. It provides the data for the Public Health Outcomes Framework indicators on “excess weight in children aged four to five years and ten to 11 years.” Because the data is valid at local level, it can also be used to inform the development and monitoring of local childhood obesity strategies.

National child measurement programme operational guidance

National child measurement programme: information for schools

Cochrane reviews show impact of lifestyle changes on obesity

Two Cochrane reviews, published today, show that a combination of diet, physical activity and behavioural change interventions may reduce weight in children and adolescents | OnMedica

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The two reviews look at the effects of diet, physical activity and behavioural interventions in treating children with overweight or obesity from six years old to early adulthood. They summarise the results of 114 studies which involved over 13,000 children and young people.