Croydon is leading the way in the battle against obesity after being chosen by Boris Johnson as one of London’s two food boroughs.

The aim behind this pioneering scheme is to transform the way people eat by encouraging them to eat more healthily and showing them how to grow their own food.

It has been set up by the Greater London Authority (GLA) as figures show in the capital child obesity levels are the highest in England.

By the time they start primary school 10.8 per cent of London’s children are already dangerously obese and by age 11, one in five are obese.

As a flagship, Croydon will receive support from the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) food, health, education and sport teams, along with the Mayor’s Fund for London.

The council will receive £600,000 in funding from the Department for Education and GLA over the next two years to help achieve this.

Plans include bringing in a grants scheme for community cooking and healthy eating projects, setting up a Croydon food festival community engagement scheme and providing support for food entrepreneurs and business start-ups.

Other plans include running cookery classes and targeting nutrition education in areas and schools where there is most need.

The other borough to be chosen to pilot the scheme is Lambeth.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "We want to prove the case that developing healthy food habits in schools can benefit not only pupils but also the wider communities that they serve.

"Croydon and Lambeth will put this to the test through a series of initiatives designed to improve health - helping to tackle the serious issues of obesity and poor diet - and boosting academic achievement.

"As our city grows, it's vital we equip our kids with the skills they need to not only get a job but to see them lead a happy and healthier life.

"We can also help trim the multi-billion pound burden on the taxpayer stemming from unhealthy eating and poor food related illness."

The project will start in September.