You may have read an article in the news Last Month that Public Health England has started a campaign designed to encourage food manufacturers and sellers to reduce the calories in certain foods and meals by 20%.
It estimates that the benefit of this will run to several billion pounds when achieved.
The shocking part of the story is that this target needs to be achieved by 2024 OR those companies not complying MAY be named and shamed. I admire the approach. It won’t solve the problem but it’s another small step in the right direction. You’d have to say its better than nothing but barely.
We are facing an obesity epidemic that has the potential to radically damage public health, bankrupt the NHS and undermine the country’s competitiveness. Are Ministers really taking it seriously enough? I’m not sure we are. The solutions needed are so long term its hard to imagine any politician being motivated to take radical measures, and measures that could be unpopular.
We are facing a crisis that needs a multi-pronged approach. In this country, we have brilliant people and brilliant companies who when set the challenge of solving the obesity crisis, and given financial incentive to do so, would, I am sure, rise to the challenge.
With obesity levels rising across most of the western world there is an opportunity for the UK to establish leadership in solving the problem.
Perhaps leaders in government need to start viewing this as an opportunity and encourage the private sector to solve it. I’m sure it would serve us better in the long term than backing multiple small initiatives that won’t really move the needle.