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Merton CCG and Merton Council support the Great Weight Debate ​

It might seem hard to imagine but London has more seriously overweight children than any other global city More than a third of children are overweight by the time they leave primary school. 

What's the problem?

Childhood obesity is one of the most pressing public health challenges facing Londoners. Leaving it unresolved puts children at greater risk of:

  • Emotional and behavioural challenges
  • Increased stigmatisation, bullying and low self esteem
  • Increased absence from school, which can affect their learning
  • Increased likelihood of obesity in adulthood
  • Increased risk of obesity related chronic conditions 
We don't think it's about blaming or criticising anyone. Evidence from experts show that the causes of obesity are really complex and that environment we live in is a major influence. We want to listen to families in Merton and get their ideas about how we can help our children and families to lead healthier happier lives.

What can you do?

The first thing you can do is to complete the Great Weight Debate survey. It takes just five minutes and gives you a voice in the London-wide debate.
  • Talk to friends, colleagues and family and encourage them to complete the 'Great Weight Debate' survey
  • Forward the link to the survey to others who work with families so they can promote its completion
  • Share your thoughts on twitter #greatweightdebate or via
  • Learn more about our childhood obesity crisis. The 'Great Weight Debate' website has loads of useful information:
​Facts about child health in relation to weight
  • 4,500 primary school children in Merton are estimated to be overweight or obese. This includes:
    • 1 in 5 children in Merton entering reception class
    • Over 1 in 3 children leaving Merton primary schools in year 6
    • Only 28 per cent of children in England achieve the recommended activity levels
    • On average, 11 to 18 year olds consume three times more than the recommended amount of sugar every day 
    • The average child in England spends six hours a day in front of a screen  
    • Availability of fast food outlets has an influence on obesity and excess weight. There are 8,000 fried chicken shops in London and the average meal contains 70% of an adult's daily calories. ​

    You can find out more at