Obesity - " Call to Action "

The National Obesity Forum, together with the Child Growth Foundation - the UK charity focused on the prevention of childhood obesity - has called for a second House of Commons Inquiry into Obesity following the publication of "Call to Action", the Department of Health's strategy to accomplish a downward trend in obesity by 2020. It is seven years since the Select Committee published its seminal report on obesity - and comparatively little has been achieved to stem the epidemic since.

The NOF calls the government's strategy "hopeless". Chairman Professor David Haslam told GP, the general practice weekly, that "Call to Action wouldn't make a single person thinner. It is meaningless to primary care and I almost completely object to it". He also had some choice words for the "Dietary Recommendations for Energy" document released simultaneously with "Call to Action". Commenting on the new recommendations - which increased the calorie count - he castigated the increase for being "really unhelpful". "It gives out entirely the wrong message" he said. " People are going to think that they can eat that little bit more. If anything, that will add to the obesity problem!"

"Call to Action" whose chief message is that the UK should strive for a collective daily reduction of 5 billion calories as a "new national ambition", has received flak from all quarters except, of course, the food and drink industry. Jamie Oliver's view that the document was "worthless, regurgitated, patronising rubbish" was the opinion most quoted.