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Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what communication her Department has had with other EU member states about the process for submitting claims to the community register under the proposed EU regulation on nutrition and health claims made on foods; what the outcomes of these discussions were; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: Member states are focused on the continuing negotiations more than on the detailed application of future requirements. Nevertheless, officials of the Food Standards Agency will continue informally to engage with representatives to influence a consistent and proportionate approach to compiling lists of specific health claims for submission to the European Commission.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what appeals mechanism exists for claims which are (a) not accepted on to the community register and (b) prior approved under article 14 of the proposed EU regulation on nutrition and health claims made on foods. 
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her proposals are for the process of submitting claims to the community register under the proposed EU nutrition and health claims made on foods regulation; when her Department will begin the required consultation process; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: The Food Standards Agency (FSA) will be undertaking this work on behalf of the Government, and has been discussing informally with industry stakeholders the potential criteria for the submission of the United Kingdom input into the future community list of health claims other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk. The FSA expects to consult publicly on its plans in the coming weeks and in good time to meet the deadlines in the regulation, which is still under negotiation.
Dr. Naysmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 13 July 2005, Official Report, column 1142W, on obesity, what assessment her Department has made of the role of the independent sector, including Slimming World and validated programmes such as slimming on referral in providing effective behaviour change programmes. 
The independent sector may have a key role in providing effective behaviour change programmes in ways that are more acceptable than traditional NHS care to some groups of patients. We will test this as part of a procurement for a 'year of care' for diabetic patients".
It is also for primary care trusts, as local commissioners and providers of services, to determine the most appropriate methods to deliver health care to their populations. Decisions are based on clinical need and effectiveness, as well as local circumstance, drawing on the available evidence and resources, including the independent sector. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has been commissioned to prepare definitive guidance on the prevention, identification, management and treatment of obesity due in early 2007.
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many primary school pupils in (a) England, (b) London, (c) the London Borough of Hillingdon and (d) the constituency of Ruislip-Northwood have been identified as (i) overweight and (ii) obese in the latest period for which figures are available. 
The data is not available in the format requested. The main source of data on the prevalence of obesity and overweight is the Health Survey for England (HSE). The sample size of the Health Survey does not
1 Mar 2006 : Column 766W
allow figures to be produced at the level of London boroughs or parliamentary constituencies. For children aged two to 10, national and Government office region (GOR) figures are presented using the national body mass index (BMI) percentile classification.
The information available is shown in two tables, using the estimated obesity and/or overweight prevalence results of the HSE for 2001, 2002 and 2003. The national level data presented is the most recent available, and shows overweight and obesity prevalence among children. Data at GOR level is only available for obesity prevalence. GOR data provided is the most recent available and use combined information from the 2001 and 2002 surveys.
|Aged 210 with valid BMI||2001||2002||2003|
|Overweight including obese||27.9||28.5||27.7|
|Bases (weighted) aged 210||2,129||4,654||1,774|
|Bases (unweighted) aged 210||1,893||3,984||1,733|
|Obese percentage||Bases (weighted)||Bases (unweighted)|
|Children aged 210|
with valid BMI
Caroline Flint: The main source of data on the proportion of adults who are overweight broken down by ethnic group is the health survey for England (HSE). The most recent data on the proportion of adults who are overweight, broken down by ethnic group (where possible), comes from the HSE 2004 headline results.
|Black Caribbean||Black African||Indian||Pakistani||Bangladeshi||Chinese||Irish||General Population|
Caroline Flint: The Department recognises the effect of obesity on disease conditions in children and adults, as shown in summary research evidence reported by the National Audit Office, the World Health Organisation, the Health Select Committee, and the 2003 Health Survey for England. Obesity is an important risk factor for a number of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, some cancers, and type two diabetes. In addition, obese people are more likely to suffer from a number of psychological problems such as low self-image and confidence, social stigma, reduced mobility and a poorer quality of life.
Caroline Flint: Tackling obesity is a key priority for the Government. In July 2004, a public service agreement target has been set to halt the year-on-year rise in obesity among children aged under 11 by 2010 in the context of a broader strategy to tackle obesity in the population as a whole.
The Department has a range of ongoing initiatives to tackle obesity in both children and adults. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has been commissioned to prepare definitive guidance on the prevention, identification, management and treatment of obesity due in early 2007. Pending NICE guidance, tools are being developed to support the national health service in tackling obesity including an obesity care pathway for both adults and children, a weight loss guide and an obesity toolkit. Guidance on measuring children's height and weight was published on 11 January 2006. An obesity social marketing campaign is being developed to be launched in the autumn of 2006, mainly targeting children and their parents.
In addition, specific action on diet and physical activity includes healthy start, school food, food in hospitals/prisons/armed forces, work on salt, fat and sugar, promotion of foods especially to children, five a day, local exercise action pilots, football and health, pedometers, and sustainable travel towns.
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