HC Deb 18 November 2003 vol 413 cc823-4W
Alan Simpson

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with other departments about implementing a strategy to tackle childhood obesity. [138789]

Fiona Mactaggart

The Home Office participates in the Activity Co-ordination Team led jointly by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department of Health which takes forward work on increasing participation in sport and physical activity, primarily in recognition of the significant health benefits.

This is of direct relevance to the prevention and management of childhood obesity.

Alan Simpson

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research his Department has commissioned on the effect on children's criminal behaviour of(a) poor nutrition and (b) childhood obesity. [138788]

Ms Blears

The Home Office is not currently conducting any specific research into the effects that poor nutrition and obesity have on children's criminal behaviour.

There is extensive research on the risk factors which can have an influence on children and young people becoming criminally active. These factors include deprivation and poverty which can of course lead to poor nutrition, and poor diet and lack of opportunity for physical exercise which can contribute to obesity.

The Government's programme to tackle youth crime includes a specific focus on addressing risk factors through the work with families, in neighbourhoods to tackle deprivation, and with education services to improve standards and behaviour and reduce truancy and exclusions.

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