Article

Diabetes in Parliament: 11th – 28th November

House of Commons Questions

Vaz, K – DH – Diabetes prevention

Tue, 15 November 2016 | House of Commons – Oral Question

Keith Vaz (Leicester East) (Lab)

Yesterday, on World Diabetes Day, the Prime Minister opened the new headquarters of Diabetes UK and said that the number of cases of diabetes increased by 75% in the last decade. The Minister and I attended the launch of the Food Foundation’s declaration on how to tackle obesity. Which of the 10 measures put forward by the foundation has she decided to accept?

Nicola Blackwood

The right hon. Gentleman is absolutely right to raise this issue, and we are considering the contributions from the Food Foundation, which are very important. He is right about the role that obesity plays in triggering diabetes. That is why we are focusing on preventing type 2 diabetes through the world’s first national diabetes prevention programme, which aims to deliver at-scale, evidence-based behavioural change to support people to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.


Sharma, V – DH – Diabetes

Tue, 15 November 2016 | House of Commons – Oral Question

Mr Virendra Sharma (Ealing, Southall) (Lab)

T2. Diabetes is a big problem in my constituency, and the number of unnecessary lower limb amputations due to diabetes is on the rise. Will the Minister ask clinical commissioning groups to provide fully staffed community podiatry foot protection services to avoid amputations, keep people in work and make huge cost savings? [907149]

Nicola Blackwood

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right that diabetes is a major health risk in the UK. That is why we have rolled out the first ever NHS diabetes prevention programme this year on 27 sites, covering nearly half of England and referring nearly 10,000 people. Next year, the second wave of the programme will reach a further 25% of the English population. The aim is for the NDPP to be rolled out across the whole of England by 2020 to support 100,000 people at risk of diabetes each year.


Diabetes – DH – Keith Vaz

Mon, 14 November 2016 | House of Commons – Written Answer

Asked by Keith Vaz (Leicester East) To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many incidences of hypoglycaemia were recorded in (a) England and (b) each clinical commissioning group in 2015.

Answered by:
Nicola Blackwood
Answered on: 14 November 2016

The attached table gives a count of finished admission episodes with a primary diagnosis of hypoglycaemia for England and each clinical commissioning group of treatment for 2015/16.

However, only the most severe cases will be hospitalised and therefore this is not a count of the number of incidents in England, but the number of hospitalisations.

PQ52284 table(Excel SpreadSheet, 25.45 KB)


Newlands, G – DH – Childhood Obesity Strategy

Tue, 15 November 2016 | House of Commons – Oral Question

Gavin Newlands

A few weeks ago, I hosted a Westminster forum on the implementation of the strategy, at which there was much consternation about why another important recommendation—the creation of a 9 pm watershed to reduce children’s exposure to junk food advertising—was cut. Does the Minister not realise the seriousness of the obesity crisis, and can she explain why that important measure was dumped?

Nicola Blackwood

Current restrictions on the advertising of less healthy food and drink in the UK are among the toughest in the world, so I am pleased to reassure the hon. Gentleman and his constituents on that fact.


Law, C – DH – Television advertising and childhood obesity

Tue, 15 November 2016 | House of Commons – Oral Question

Chris Law (Dundee West) (SNP)

T5. Both Public Health England and Food Standards Scotland support restricted advertising of junk food to children, yet this was entirely omitted from the Government’s completely underwhelming obesity strategy. Given that we clearly cannot rely on the UK Government to take this forward, will the Secretary of State support the devolution of broadcasting powers to allow the Scottish Government to tackle the obesity crisis and its devastating impact on society? [907153]

Nicola Blackwood

The obesity plan is one of the most ambitious in the world. It will reduce obesity by a fifth by cutting the amount of sugar in our food, helping all children to engage in an hour of physical activity a day, and making it easier for families to make healthy choices. We already have some of the toughest advertising rules in the world, and we have consulted Scotland closely on these arrangements.


Donaldson, S. B – DH – Childhood Obesity Strategy

Tue, 15 November 2016 | House of Commons – Oral Question

Stuart Blair Donaldson (West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine) (SNP)

Climbing obesity rates are expected to lead to increases in type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and the need for joint replacements, which will put even greater pressure on the NHS. Given such threats to health, does the Secretary of State really think that now is the time for timidity and sucking up to business?

Nicola Blackwood

As I have made absolutely clear today, I am determined not to allow the House to get lost in a debate about what the plan could or should have been. Our children deserve more from us. We should not politicise this debate; we should get on with delivering the plan that we have before becoming involved in a lengthier conversation about what a long-term obesity programme should be.


Hodgson, S – DH – Obesity

Tue, 15 November 2016 | House of Commons – Oral Question

Mrs Sharon Hodgson (Washington and Sunderland West) (Lab)

Another target that “Dispatches” uncovered was to be scrapped was the target to halve childhood obesity by 2026. This was compounded by recent national childhood measurement data showing that obesity is on the rise and that obesity rates are more than double in deprived areas compared with more affluent ones. Instead of squandering this opportunity, the Government should be pushing ahead with a comprehensive and preventive strategy. Can the Minister explain, therefore, why this significant target was dropped from the Government’s plans to tackle childhood obesity?

Nicola Blackwood

The hon. Lady is right to say that the childhood obesity strategy is one of our key priorities for tackling health inequalities in the UK. Obesity prevalence for children living in the most deprived areas is double that for those living in the least deprived areas, and the gap continues to widen. That is exactly why we will press ahead with the plan, but, as she has said, this is just the beginning of the conversation and we will continue to fight obesity as a government priority.


Throup, M – DH – Obesity

Tue, 15 November 2016 | House of Commons – Oral Question

Maggie Throup (Erewash) (Con)

Recent data from the national childhood measurement programme shows that obesity rates have risen for the second consecutive year. With that in mind, will the Minister outline what further steps she has taken to make the childhood obesity plan for action into a true strategy?

Nicola Blackwood

As I have been saying during this question time, I am absolutely determined to focus on implementing the plan that we have. It is one of the most ambitious in the world, and it will deliver a reduction of a fifth in childhood obesity over the next decade. However, we have been clear that this is not the final word; it is just the beginning of the conversation. I would welcome contributions from my hon. Friend, who is a dogged campaigner on this issue.


Davies, P – DH – Child obesity and exercise

Tue, 15 November 2016 | House of Commons – Oral Question

Philip Davies (Shipley) (Con)

May I urge the Minister, in tackling childhood obesity, not to go down the line of nanny-state proposal after nanny-state proposal, but instead to look at Active Movement, which is in operation in a number of areas around the country? It builds exercise into the average day of children in schools, and it is already making a great difference to childhood obesity levels.

Nicola Blackwood

I very much welcome the hon. Gentleman’s support for a key plank of the childhood obesity strategy, which is helping all children to enjoy an hour of physical activity every day and which will include physical movement as well as specific physical education.


Obesity: Children – DH – Stuart Blair Donaldson

Tue, 15 November 2016 | House of Commons – Written Answer

Asked by Stuart Blair Donaldson (West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine) To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to implement his Department’s childhood obesity strategy.

Answered by:
Nicola Blackwood
Answered on: 15 November 2016

The Department is working closely with Public Health England, the National Health Service, local authorities, schools and other partners as we implement the Childhood Obesity Plan.

The Department is already taking firm action, including consulting on the soft drinks industry levy and launching a broad sugar reduction programme. This is already showing results, as has been seen in the recent announcements by Tesco and Lucozade about cutting sugar in their drinks.


Obesity: Children – DCMS – Jim Shannon

Mon, 14 November 2016 | House of Commons – Written Answer

Asked by Jim Shannon (Strangford) To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to monitor the level of advertising for (a) breakfast cereals and (b) convenience foods for its effect on childhood obesity.

Answered by:
Matt Hancock
Answered on: 14 November 2016

We recognise the importance of tackling childhood obesity, which is caused by a number of complex factors. The Childhood Obesity Plan for Action, published in August, considered a number of different policy responses to address this problem. Additional advertising restrictions were considered as part of this process, but current restrictions in the UK are amongst the toughest in the world and the plan focuses on those areas which experts tell us are most effective.


Harper, M – DH – Soft drinks (sugar content)

Tue, 15 November 2016 | House of Commons – Oral Question

Mr Mark Harper (Forest of Dean) (Con)

May I draw the Minister’s attention to some excellent leadership from the private sector? Lucozade Ribena Suntory, which is based in my constituency, announced last week—rather buried in the news from the United States of America, I am afraid—that it was going to take 50% of sugar out of its soft drinks by reformulating all its new and existing products. That demonstrates really good leadership and is an example to other companies.

Nicola Blackwood

I welcome my right hon. Friend’s question. He is absolutely right. We very much welcome the actions of not only Lucozade but Tesco in cutting the sugar in their drinks. It is proof that doing so is possible and meets the expectations of many consumers.


Soft Drinks: Taxation – HM Treasury – Jim Shannon

Wed, 16 November 2016 | House of Commons – Written Answer

Asked by Jim Shannon (Strangford) To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment the Government has made of the potential effect on children’s health of the soft drinks industry levy.

Answered by:
Jane Ellison
Answered on: 16 November 2016

The Soft Drinks Industry Levy forms part of the Government’s Childhood Obesity Plan. The actions in this plan will significantly reduce England’s rate of childhood obesity within the next ten years.

Since the Government announced the levy, some companies have already started to reformulate their products by removing added sugar content.

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