Health and Vitality

Childhood obesity: meet the new plan, same as the old plan

The government’s new research unit looks suspiciously like it was cobbled together to head off claims of inaction, writes David Burrows. Twelve months ago the UK government slipped out its long-awaited plan to tackle childhood obesity. The document represented “the start of the conversation, rather than the final word”. It ran to 13 pages and…
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Does fat deserve a retrial?

Why defenders are fighting to clear the reputation of a nutrient they say has been unfairly blamed for the obesity epidemic. By Nick Hughes. As sugar begins a long sentence for its role in the obesity epidemic a campaign is being waged to get another convicted nutrient off the hook. Fat has long been cast…
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EU health ministers call for more effective policies to tackle childhood obesity

Europe’s health ministers believe there is “ample evidence” to justify tougher restrictions junk food advertising, especially online. Members of the employment, social policy, health and consumer affairs council (EPSCO) also criticised the self-regulatory approach favoured by many countries. In new guidelines to tackle childhood obesity, the council said the focus should be on both lack…
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Brits baffled by sugar tax

Nearly eight in 10 people are aware that there’s a new tax on sugar being introduced but they don’t have a clue what products will be covered. In a survey of 539 adults by Nielsen, not one correctly identified that the levy only applies to sugary soft drinks. Two-thirds believed it would apply to sweets/sugared…
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EU rules on junk food marketing watered down

Plans to revise the rules around advertising of junk food to children have been watered down by the European Parliament, according to campaigners. The audiovisual media services directive (AVMSD) is a package of laws covering television advertising and shopping, sponsorship and product placement. Campaigners identified it as a “once in a decade” opportunity to protect…
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Politicians side-tracked by sugar taxes

Politicians have been distracted by sugar taxes rather than led the fight to tackle obesity from all angles, according to Richard Dobbs, senior partner at McKinsey and lead author of his firm’s seminal report on obesity in 2014. Dobbs claimed there is a “real gap in political leadership”. Politicians and policymakers are not as concerned…
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Report: Healthier reformulation is a recipe for success

Reformulating products to make them healthier helps companies meet unrecognised customer need and keep pace with new market trends to create valuable business opportunities, according to a new report. Commissioned by Nestlé Professional and produced by Footprint, the Recipe for Change report is an actionable, non-technical industry guide. It outlines how foodservice can help tackle…
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A new recipe for fighting obesity

In an age of austerity, reformulation rather than regulation is the policy of choice for tackling the crisis. By Professor Jack Winkler. MSPs on the health and sport committee in Holyrood wrote to the health minister, Aileen Campbell, last month urging her to take a “bold approach” to tackling obesity. It was an entirely sensible…
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No more excuses on obesity

Think of it like your in-laws: it’s flawed, but the Childhood Obesity Strategy is what we’ve got, and it’s time for foodservice to start getting on with it. That was the conclusion of October’s Footprint Forum: Fat Load of Good?: Foodservice and the Childhood Obesity Strategy, in association with CH&Co Group. The Childhood Obesity Plan…
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Misguided approach to diets

The public are the losers in the foolhardy fat fight among public health experts and campaigners, says Nick Hughes. Making healthy food choices is hard enough at the best of times, such is the onslaught of messaging imploring us to choose one product over another. But when even public health professionals can’t agree on the most…
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