ONE of Bolton's leading health bosses is urging parents, the Government, schools and the NHS to work together in a bid to beat childhood obesity.

Jan Hutchinson, director of public health for Bolton Primary Care Trust, said practical solutions must be offered if the problem of overweight children is to be tackled properly.

She spoke out as the Government was criticised in a report for failing to take action on the problem.

The report's author Professor Peter Kopelman, director of the faculty of health at the University of East Anglia, has worked in the field of obesity for 30 years.

He is calling for healthy food to be subsidised and unhealthy food taxed.

He is also urging the Government into a "less talk, more action" approach.

The professor wants to see the food and drinks industry forced to comply with measures to promote healthy living.

Ms Hutchinson said: "As Professor Kopelman recognises, there is no easy solution to obesity. We all need to play a part.

"It's true that just providing information on healthy lifestyles is not enough and in Bolton we are committed to providing practical support through community initiatives.

"There may be a role for national enforcement around things like junk food advertising, but you cannot use laws to force people to eat less and exercise more."