Overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence are associated with adverse health consequences throughout the lifecourse. Rates of childhood overweight and obesity have reached alarming proportions in many countries and pose an urgent and serious challenge. Policy responses across the world have been piecemeal. Evidence based policy actions and interventions are available to build a comprehensive approach to overweight and obesity but, in most countries, a narrow selection of interventions are chosen, often implemented over short time periods and typically with small-scale investment. The most cost-effective policy actions are rarely selected, or only partially adopted. Genuinely comprehensive, long-term population-wide approaches are scant. Leading-edge fiscal and regulatory strategies face
aggressive, often effective, opposition from lobby groups. We outline the policy actions, governance and accountability mechanisms needed to tackle this global epidemic.