§ Mr. Jim Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to reduce levels of obesity, with particular reference to young people. 
§ Miss Melanie Johnson
[holding answer 12 May 2004]: The Government takes the issue of tackling obesity in children very seriously. Prevention is the best long-term approach, by improving diet and promoting physical activity. A variety of initiatives are in place, including the promotion of breastfeeding; reform of the welfare food scheme; action within schools, such as the food in schools programme; the 5 A DAY programme including the national school fruit scheme and action to address sugar, fat and salt levels in the diet. Significant investment is being made to transform physical education, school sport and club links over the next three years.
Strategies are being developed through the Choosing Health? Choosing a better diet and the Choosing Health? Choosing Activity consultations. Both these consultations will inform the forthcoming White Paper which will include tackling obesity in children.