§ Nick Harvey
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has conducted into(a) the cost to the public sector and (b) the impact on public spending between 2003 and 2020 as a result of children currently classified as clinically obese; and if he will place copies of the research in the Library. 
§ Ms Blears
The Department of Health has not carried out any research into the cost to the public sector and the impact on public spending between 2003 and 2020 of clinically obese children.
The National Audit Office report, Tackling Obesity in England, published in February 2001, estimated that the direct cost for both children and adults to the National Health Service to treating obesity in 1998 was £9.4 million. Treating the consequences of obesity cost the National Health Service approximately 480 million per year, or about 1.5 per cent. of the total NHS expenditure for that year. The National Audit Office report predicted that if the prevalence of obesity continues to rise at the present rate until 2010, these annual costs would increase by £1 billion, or over a third, to around £3.6 billion, by that year. Extrapolation beyond 2010 can not be calculated with any certainty.
The Government is committed to halting the current trend of increasing overweight and obesity in both children and adults through cross- government work on diet and physical activity.