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Podcast / The Big Issues
Podcast / The Big Issues

How can we tackle the growing child obesity crisis?

The UK has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in Europe, and COVID has impacted the efforts to reduce this number as lockdowns take their toll on activity levels and eating habits. With healthy food costing more per calorie than unhealthy food, how can this growing child obesity crisis be addressed by government, industry and the public? What needs to happen to hit the targets that have been set for 2030?

Joining host Stefan Gates are an expert panel to examine the child obesity crisis including Christina Marriott, CEO, Royal Society of Public Health and Chris Thomas, Senior Research Fellow, IPPR. They’ll examine where we are right now and offer ways that we can improve our understanding of health and nutrition to tackle the issues we face.

About our panel

Christina Marriott, CEO, Royal Society of Public Health

Christina has been Chief Executive of RSPH since May 2020. Previously, the Chief Executive of Revolving Doors Agency. She has experience in both national and regional roles in the NHS having led a place-based health equity programme before becoming National Lead for Health Inequalities in the then newly-formed NHS England.

She has served on a significant number of Boards including the Ministerial Advisory Board on Female Offenders and the Reducing Reoffending Third Sector Ministerial Advisory Group (RR3). She currently sits on the DHSC Improving Population Health Advisory Group, is a commissioner on the Bright Blue Future Tax Commission and a Board member at Hestia. She chaired the Bradley Report Group and the Health Inequalities Reference Group. She was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Southampton and a finalist in the Third Sector Awards Chief Executive of the Year 2019.

In her early career, she established and led a marketing consultancy for 13 years, before being tempted into academia working on health inequalities at the University of Central Lancashire. Seconded to health inspectorates, she was National Lead of the census of mental health inpatients that underpinned DH’s Delivering Race Equality in Mental Health programme.

Chris Thomas, Senior Research Fellow, IPPR

Chris is a senior research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research and leads the institute’s health and care research programmes. Prior to joining IPPR, Chris led Macmillan Cancer Support’s inequality policy team, and public health research at Cancer Research UK. He has published extensively on nutrition, in policy reports and academic journals – and in 2017 designed one of the country’s largest youth nutrition surveys.

Chris is also an editor of the journal Progressive Review, a member of an international World Economic Forum partnership looking at healthcare resilience and a regular contributor to broadcast and print media.

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