Blog: A fat chance of success
Dean Best | 17 October 2007
Is it me or have we heard all of this before? The findings of the obesity report by the UK government-backed research group Foresight came as little of a surprise. So, we are getting fatter as a nation. So, its going to cost the UK economy even more money as people fall ill to weight-related illness. You don't say?
What came as more of a surprise to me is that there seemed little in the way of concrete ideas as to how to move forward on this worrying issue, other than to say that it was less the fault of the individual and more the fault of society - the food industry included - that we are heading down this road.
The plan likened the obesity crisis to global warming. We need a cultural and social shift in attitude to eating and exercising, it says, before saying: "This will require a broad set of integrated policies including both population and targeted measures and must necessarily include action not only by government, both central and local, but also action by industry, communities, families and society as a whole."
I don't know about you, but it all seems a bit woolly to me. The government's response has thus far been equally uninspiring, today quietly abandoning its target to halt childhood obesity by 2010, setting instead the goal of reducing it by 2020 - a decade further on.
We plan to have a more in-depth comment piece up on the findings in the next day or so, so I'll leave my rant there.
The food industry has woken up to the threat that obesity poses to it in recent years and not only has it been one of the most proactive stakeholders in the search for a solution, but it has also learnt to blow its own trumpet on the matter too.
I found this piece on the BBC website today which summarises nicely some of the achievements the food industry has made in its battle to reduce the UK waistline.
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