Dr Emma Boyland is a Lecturer in appetite and obesity at the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society and Trustee of the UK Association for the Study of Obesity.
“The Government’s long awaited Childhood Obesity Strategy is out, and it is as frustrating as it is disappointing. It has been downgraded to a “plan”, and contains little of the “brave and bold action” that had been called for, and that the obesity problem warrants.
“The plan is but 13 pages long, and outlines a series of lacklustre proposals that will not be sufficient to make real progress in tackling the obesity crisis. There is a lot of focus on sugar, but still fails to take on board the majority of recommendations made in the recent Public Health England report on how to reduce excess sugar intake.
“The plan states that it has been devised “while respecting consumer choice and economic realities”, and this is a clear and depressing indication of the Government’s unwillingness to tackle the junk food and advertising industries, who form a critical part of the obesogenic environment in which we live.
“True choice is a fallacy when the food environment has such power over what, how, when and how much we eat. Until the root causes of obesity are tackled with considered and co-ordinated action, we will fail to made real inroads into improving the health and the lives of children in this country. This was a real opportunity to make a difference, and it has been missed by a mile. It is our children who have been let down the most.”