Dr Jyotsna Vohra, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at RSPH said:

These latest projections by the Local Government Association paint a deeply concerning picture of missed targets and continuing high levels of childhood obesity. Following in the wake of the Khan review, which found that England is also set to miss the smokefree 2030 target, this reflects how much work we have yet to do to create a healthier society.

It is particularly worrying to see continuing trends where children living in the most deprived areas are significantly more at risk of being overweight or obese than those in the least deprived areas. Without bold action, these health inequalities will continue to increase along with the strain on our health and social care services, and they run counter to the principles of levelling-up.

These inequalities cannot be tackled through promoting individual responsibility and education. The proposals outlined in the recent Food Strategy White Paper will do little if anything to bring us back on course for the 2030 target. What we need are greater powers available to councils to tackle junk food advertising and rebalance our food system towards healthier options.

The Government must do more to show they are actually committed to levelling up and it is not just an aspiration.