This paper aims to provide a summary of current policy and research related to pre‐school overweight and obesity, and to provide a rationale for why early years settings are being placed at the forefront of strategies to address the problem.
The paper is based on a narrative review of current research, policy and practice.
Today 22.9 per cent of four and five year olds are overweight or obese. The Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives strategy is a cross‐government initiative, which aims to make England the first major country to reverse the obesity epidemic. The pre‐school period represents a critical time for interventions, which could prevent excess weight gain and its associated physical and psychological damage to health.
Practitioners in early years settings have a significant contribution to make to promoting the healthy weight of children.
Concerns about overweight in childhood have received much attention. This paper seeks to raise awareness of the importance of the pre‐school period, and to provide a useful review of current research, policy and sources of support for those who are best placed to address the issue.
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