“The UK is one of the most obese nations in the world with about a quarter of adults classed as obese. That figure is predicted to double by 2050 – a third of primary school leavers are already overweight.” (BBC reporting on the headline news – link to their full story below)
“It is an “obesity crisis”, and it must be tackled before it is too late”. That was the statement of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AMRC). A united and respected voice has stuck its head ‘above the parapet’. Thankfully it made all the headline TV news yesterday, the question is whether the politicians will listen?
It’s hardly new news in the UK; people are getting fatter and of particular worry is the growth in obesity in youngsters. And the simple fact, despite all the misery that being severely overweight causes, is that it is a huge financial burden for the country with the prospect of an NHS system overrun with obesity linked serious diseases such as diabetes and heart problems.
The AMRC report said “current measures were failing and called for unhealthy foods to be treated more like cigarettes”. Surely the politicians cannot ignore this horrendous issue any longer, and effectively ignore the AMRC? The AMRC represents almost all of the UK’s 220,000 doctors and the BBC commented “It (the AMRC) says its doctors are seeing the consequences of unhealthy diets every day and that it has never come together on such an issue before”.
The AMRC report made a number of recommendations which relate to (I think most of us would agree) the prime culprits of sugar laden fizzy drinks and highly processed, fat, salt and sugar laden convenience and fast foods. The headline recommendations:
- Taxes of 20 per cent on sugary drinks for at least a year
- Banning the advertising of foods high in saturated fat, sugar and salt before 9pm
- Councils having the power to limit the number of fast food outlets near schools and leisure centres
Surely it is a no brainer? After dodging this issue for many years surely politicians of all political colours need to unite and not put certain commercial interests first – and put the nation’s health first?
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The Full News Item on the BBC Website: Tax fizzy drinks and ban junk food ads, say doctors . (This news item includes a link to the AMRC website)