The government has been accused of doing too little too late to tackle the rise in childhood obesity.

A report by the Commons public accounts committee today says the three government departments - Health; Education and Skills; and Culture, Media and Sport - have been unable to co-ordinate their response.

A campaign aimed at parents, children and teachers is planned to launch this year, three years after the three departments set a public service agreement target 'to halt, by 2010, the year-on-year increase in obesity among children under 11 in the context of a broader strategy to tackle obesity in the population'.

Other than this there are no ringfenced funds or specific proposals to tackle childhood obesity. Instead, it is being added to existing school-based health and exercise programmes.

There is also no means of measuring progress towards the 2010 target. Performance was supposed to be via the Health Survey for England but the latest data for this is 2004.

Public accounts committee chair Edward Leigh said: 'This is tricky territory. It is therefore all the more urgent that the departments work together to set a clear direction. It is lamentable that, long after the target was set, there is still so much dithering and confusion.'

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