REDBRIDGE has signed a “healthy eating declaration” in the hope of reducing the number of obese children in the borough.

One in five Redbridge children start school overweight or obese, a figure that rises to two in five among 10 and 11 year-olds.

The council is one of the first in London to take the pledge, which aims to promote a healthier lifestyle and crack down on sugary food and drink.

In partnership with charity Sustain the pledge will see less unhealthy foods advertised, more free drinking water, and better quality food given out in schools or by the council.

Bosses also want to tackle the number of unhealthy eating outlets near schools and in more deprived areas.

Redbridge cabinet member for health Cllr Mark Santos said: “I am delighted we are doing everything we can to help our residents and workers have a healthier choice of diet.

“We have an important role to play in promoting healthy eating and sugar reduction, given our responsibilities for public health, planning, environmental health, leisure and recreation.

“Signing up to this declaration will build on our work undertaken to date to address healthy eating and obesity in Redbridge, and help the borough achieve its health and wellbeing ambitions.”