Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health: Lansley obesity plan is peanuts

Professor Terence Stephenson, president of the RCPCH responds to health secretary's plans to tackle obesity by reducing national calorific intake by five billion calories a day.

"This publication aims to reduce calorie consumption by five billion calories a day which may grab headlines but is actually peanuts. Sixteen dry roasted peanuts per person, per day to be precise.

"The plan also has no clear measures on how the food and drink industry will be made to be more "responsible" in their aggressive marketing of unhealthy food.

"Obesity, especially childhood obesity, is the single greatest public health threat to this country, and if unchecked could be costing the NHS £10 billion per year by 2050. Suggesting that children in particular can be "nudged" into making healthy choices especially when faced with a food landscape which is persuading them to do the precise opposite suggests this would be best described as a call to inaction.

"We as a College wish to support both the Department of Health and the wider government in a joined up approach to tackling the prevention of childhood obesity with evidence based action."