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Examining the impact of cuts to local government spending on Sure Start Children’s Centres on childhood obesity: a commentary
  1. Tim Huijts1,2
  1. 1Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  2. 2Centre for Global Health Inequalities Research, Department of Sociology and Political Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
  1. Correspondence to Prof. dr. Tim Huijts, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands; t.huijts{at}maastrichtuniversity.nl

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The adverse effects of childhood obesity are considerable, both during childhood and in the longer term. Children with obesity have a higher risk of psychological morbidity, and are more likely to be obese and have cardiovascular risk factors as adults.1 The importance of childhood conditions more generally (and social and geographical inequalities in these conditions) for population health is increasingly recognised and prioritised among both academic and policy-oriented audiences.2 3 The Sure Start Children’s Centres in England are a good example of initiatives that were designed to deal with this, with prevention of obesity and reduction of health inequalities being among the aims of the centres.4 5 However, spending cuts may have threatened the capacity of the centres to achieve these aims, in the same way that spending cuts in other domains have had detrimental effects on health inequalities.6 7

Mason et al8 have provided an excellent and meticulously presented analysis of the impact of cuts to local government spending on Sure Start Children’s Centres on childhood …

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Footnotes

  • Contributors TH conceived and wrote the text of this commentary.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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