North East MP and GP Dr Paul Williams has called for firm and wide-ranging action from the government to tackle childhood obesity.
The Labour MP for Stockton South, who is a practising doctor on Teesside and member of the Commons Health and Social Care Committee, describes it as "the biggest issue of our time."
The government is expected to publish a new strategy in the coming weeks.
The North East has some of the highest rates of obesity among children in the country, and they continue to rise.
According to the National Child Measurement Programme 2016-17:
- 24.5% of children aged 4 to 5 in the North East are overweight or obese
- 37.3% of children aged 10 to 11 in the North East are overweight or obese
There have been reports that the government is considering banning the sale of sweets and chocolates around checkouts, or banning the use of cartoon characters to promote unhealthy foods.
The Department of Health and Social Care says it already has a "world-leading childhood obesity plan".
It includes the sugar tax, which was announced in 2016 and came into force in April this year, placing a levy on soft drink manufacturers.
This week we have several reports looking at this issue, in our series 'Action on Obesity.'
- What do you think should be in the government's childhood obesity strategy? Email: email@example.com