Youngsters in Hampshire must be given the chance to get active for an hour each day if the area is ever to call time on childhood obesity, MP Mike Thornton has warned.
Mike Thornton MP joined some of the UK’s top politicians, including Public Health Minister Anna Soubry, at a summit meeting convened by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to discuss how to fight the causes of childhood obesity.
The latest figures from the National Child Measurement Programme show 13.8 per cent of Year 6 children in Eastleigh are obese. The average Hampshire figure is 14.5 per cent.
During the event, Mr Thornton heard how there must be more encouragement for young people to get active in his constituency, including raising awareness of the fact children and young people in Eastleigh should be getting at least an hour of physical activity each day.
He also learnt how children must be better protected from junk food marketing, while parents must be helped to make better choices about the food they buy for their family.
Mike Thornton MP said: "Eastleigh and Hampshire is locked in a battle with childhood obesity and the rising tide is not going to subside without action from politicians, parents, schools and children themselves.
"I was surprised to learn just an hour of physical activity each day can be part of the solution. We also need to look at helping parents make better choices about the food they’re serving up, while protecting the next generation from the dangers of sophisticated junk food marketing, both on the TV and online.
"The British Heart Foundation’s summit was a real eye-opener about the scale of the problem and I’ll be working hard with the charity to make sure we tackle it head on in Eastleigh."