HC Deb 13 June 2003 vol 406 cc1133-4W
Nick Harvey

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures he has to promote the prevention of obesity; and how much funding has been made available for this purpose. [114797]

Ms Blears

The Government are committed to tackling the rising trend in obesity. The Department of Health is working with other Government Departments and a range of other partners at national, regional and local levels, on programmes to improve diet and increase physical activity levels.

Action to improve diet includes the Food in Schools Programme, the Five-A-Day programme to increase fruit and vegetable consumption and work with industry to address the overall balance of diet including fat, sugar and salt, working with the Food Standards Agency (FSA). The Department of Health, Sport England and the Countryside Agency are funding local exercise action pilots (LEAP), based in the nine English regions. The Department of Health is also working with other Government Departments, such as the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and the Department for Transport (DfT), to establish a sport and physical activity board (SPAB) to begin raising levels of mass participation for young people and adults, particularly women and the elderly.

Significant funding is also being provided to support the physical education (PE) and school sport and club links programme, which will implement the joint DfES/DCMS public service agreement target to provide two hours of high-quality PE and school sport to 70 per cent. of pupils by 2006. The New Opportunities Fund are also funding improvements to sports facilities in schools.

The Food and Health Action Plan will also pull together all the issues that influence what we eat and will address healthy eating at all stages of the life course. The plan will build on comprehensive on-going programmes of work already underway across Government on healthy eating.

The delivery of these policies is through a number of resources, including the Department of Health, DCMS, DfES, DfT, FSA, the New Opportunities Fund, the national health service and other stakeholders, and it is not possible to identify the specific funding being used to achieve these goals.