The number of children eligible for a government healthy eating initiative has fallen by 20 per cent over three years, despite child poverty rising across the UK and a mounting child obesity crisis, official figures show.

This comes as budgets for providing fruit and vegetables and healthy eating initiatives to poorer families have been slashed by a quarter in three years under Conservative-led governments. The overall budget for food welfare schemes, which include milk in nurseries, has fallen from a peak of £141.3m to £104.7m – a cut of £36.6m (equivalent to nearly 26 per cent).

In response to questions from the Labour Party, health minister Jackie Doyle-Price released figures which show just 503,585 children were eligible for healthy start support in 2017-18, a drop of 123,000 in three years from 626,585 in 2014-15.

Read more at the Independent