If you have been following this blog, you will already be getting a flavour for the importance I place on maintaining a healthy weight as a major step in achieving optimum health and wellbeing. This post may be old news, published in The Telegraph in November last year, but it does demonstrate the importance of taking responsiblity for your own health, rather than relying on the State to help…
A panel of government advisers that were appointed to tackle the obesity epidemic was quietly disbanded in late 2011 following claims that the Government was too sympathetic to the food and drink industry.
Members of the obesity advisory group, which was set up under the last government, said the coalition preferred to consult food and drink firms than scientific experts over Britain’s obesity crisis.
Experts were disappointed with the Health Secretary’s approach to “nudge” people to make better lifestyle choices. Klim McPherson, a member of the panel, said “Ministers were more inclined to involve food and drinks companies than scientific experts…An obesity epidemic cannot be prevented by individual action alone and demands a societal approach.” Fellow members Geoff Rayner and Tim Lang also voiced their concerns that the Government was not doing enough to turn around the problem because of its relationship with food and drink companies.
Jamie Oliver has criticised the policy of urging people to improve their diet while merely encouraging companies to display their calorie counts. He said at the time that it was a “farce”, branding the Government’s efforts “worthless, regurgitated, patronising rubbish.”
The Department of Health confirmed the expert panel had been abolished, saying it was “bringing in new advisory arrangements for obesity”.
In 2010 the Health Secretary came under fire for ruling out an anti-junk food law while asking the food and drink sector to fund the Change 4 Life health campaign. When announcing plans to reduce public spending on promoting healthy living, he said: “We will be pressing industry for actual funding.” Junk and processed food giants Coca-Cola, Mars, Kraft, Nestle and PepsiCo were already involved in the Change 4 Life campaign, which advertised lifestyle changes on television.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t recall seeing any evidence of a new, high-profile anti obesity campaign. Sadly I can’t foresee the state ever fully backing a preventative system of healthcare, of which weight management is central.
So, it would seem it’s down to you and me. I will be here to help in any way I can, offering advice, information, support and a few tools too! But what will you be doing?
Note: This is NOT intended to be a political statement, and Panacea Holistic Health and Beauty has no political allegiances.