Children's obesity is a 'national emergency'

  • @MattChorley

Labour's failure to tackle the "chips and PlayStation 3 culture" means one-fifth of primary-school leavers are now obese, the shadow health minister Diane Abbott has admitted, in a warning that the health of Britain's children is a national emergency.

Significant numbers will live shorter lives than their parents and suffer poorer health, she said in a speech to the IPPR think tank.

Rampant consumerism and the "Get Rich or Die Trying" culture which fuelled last summer's riots are also "seeping into British public health", she claimed.

While Labour "nursed the NHS back to health" between 1997 and 2010, "we should have done much more to tackle... problems such as obesity and alcohol abuse".

Ms Abbott backed schemes where parents attend classes, with their children, tackling the social and psychological factors behind over-eating. And junk-food ads should be banned before 9pm, she said.