MPs deride HMG obesity strategy


The House of Commons' cross-party Health Select Committee considers that the government's Responsibility Deal with food and drink firms to improve public health will not solve the huge problems of obesity and chronic drinking.  The Committee's report, examining Government reforms proposed for Public Health, echoes concerns expressed by the British Medical Association, campaigneers and celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver.  The government must be ready to use legislation if industry fails voluntarily to reformulate its unhealthier products and " nudging " the population into heahier lifestyles also fails.  For it's part, the Department of Health refutes this approach and is adament that working with industry will provide the solution.  It insists that it is the Department and not industry that is setting the health agenda.

The National Obesity Forum [NOF] simply repeats it condemnation of the Department's strategy to tackle obesity and has broadened its demand for a comprehensive Inquiry into the epidemic [see below].  NOF understands that the National Audit Offioce and Commons' Public Affairs Committee's have also identified obesity for further reports: it is NOF's opinion that a joint Inquiry by all three bodies should be timetabled for early 2012. 

This demand takes into consideration that the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has already inquired into " nudging " and was told by a senior Conservative that it was " an open question whether nugging will have any effect on behaviour change whatsoever ".