Saturday, December 16, 2006

Obesity - is a Staple Diet Needed?

The news that NICE has recomended surgical intervention for extreme cases of childhood obesity shows the complete failure of government policy in stemming the obesity epidemic and it represents the increasing medicalisation of life with medical and surgical interventions being used to correct a failure of social policy.

The government has clearly failed to address the causes of obesity. Suggestions that people should go to the gym in their lunch hour or giving them free passes to gyms are simply sticking plaster ideas - what is needed is reengineering of the way we get around. Exercise has to be useful in order for it to be engaged in over a long period, yet transport policies encourage car use and discourage walking and cycling.

The government's failure to address the fast food culture is the other side of the obesity failure. While recent improvements in school food were welcome, they fail to address the widening cultural and health divide that requires are rethink of the way we supply food.

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