Intended for healthcare professionals

Views And Reviews Provocations

A radical proposal: to promote children’s wellbeing give them the vote

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: (Published 02 May 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k1862
  1. Neena Modi, professor of neonatal medicine
  1. Imperial College London, London, UK
  1. n.modi{at}
    Follow Neena on Twitter @NeenaModi1

This straightforward change might ensure that child friendly policies get political attention

The health of the adult population is an appropriate and important concern for governments, given its bearing on productivity and economic prosperity. Adult health is in large part determined by child health, yet around the world policies directed at improving children’s health remain inadequate.

In the UK, for example, the government’s response to the shocking prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity (a fifth of 5 year olds and one in three 10 year olds) has been heavily criticised for being ineffective and too accommodating of commercial interests, though the vast majority of these children will go on to become obese adults.

All too often, governments listen only to a vocal electorate. This poses a problem for infants, children, and teenagers, almost a quarter of the UK population. Most …

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