Dear Sir,

As your report “Millennials are the fattest generation in history” (Feb 26) indicates, obesity is rarely out the news. Statistics show there are now 12.3 million people at increased risk of Type 2 diabetes and the most deprived five year olds are more than twice as likely to be obese than well off counterparts.

Obesity is a problem of our environment more than individual willpower. Failure to comprehensively tackle this will lead to more devastating headlines of people experiencing weight-related disease.

The Government is considering further measures to reduce childhood obesity. Health leaders are unanimous that protecting children from junk food adverts must be prioritised. Last weekend, for example, over a third of the adverts shown during a popular family time programme were for high fat, sugar and salt foods, seen by more than million children.

Policy makers from all parties must listen to the sector and to the public. It’s time to get to grips with obesity before obesity takes a grip of the nation.

Professor Russell Viner, Officer for Health Promotion, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health; Professor John Wass, Special Advisor on Obesity, Royal College of Physicians; Alison Cox, Director of Prevention, Cancer Research UK; Helen Dickens, Assistant Director of Campaigns and Mobilisation, Diabetes UK; Professor Dame Parveen Kumar, Board of Science Chair, British Medical Association; Professor Simon Capewell, Vice President for Policy, Faculty of Public Health; Jamie Oliver, Chef and campaigner; John Maingay, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, British Heart Foundation; Kawther Hashem, Action on Sugar; Ben Reynolds, Deputy Director, Sustain; Dr Modi Mwatsama, Director, Policy and Global Health, UK Health Forum; Professor Lesley Regan, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists; Nicola Close, Chief Executive, Association of Directors of Public Health; Dr Liam Brennan, President, Royal College of Anaesthetists; Mick Armstrong, Chair, British Dental Association; Judi Rhys, CEO, British Liver Trust, Richard Gardner, Chief Executive, British Society of Gastroenterology; Professor Michael Escudier, Dean, Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of England; Kieron Boyle, Chief Executive, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity; Caroline Moye, Head of World Cancer Research Fund UK; Andy Burman, Chief Executive, British Association of Dieticians; Kim Roberts, Chief Executive, HENRY; Shefalee Loth, Caroline Walker Trust; Dr Roger Wolman, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital; Tam Fry, chairman and spokesman, National Obesity Forum; Helen Crawley, First Steps Nutrition; Lesley McCormack, CEO, HOOP UK; Michael Baber, Chair, Health Action Campaign; Dan Parker, Living Loud

Published in Times: 5th March 2018