How to change UK's complex 'environment of obesity'
The British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy responds to yesterday's Health Select Committee's report which revealed “compelling evidence” that a sugar tax would reduce consumption.
Yesterday's Health Select Committee's report highlights key actions which the government and industry should act on to help get to grips with a problem that is robbing individuals and society of future health and economic security.
Influencing the current environment of obesity will not deliver the desired economic and social results if it is not accompanied by lasting behaviour change. This needs to be addressed at all levels of society.
Obesity is complex and needs interventions at multiple levels to achieve both effective prevention and successful treatment of existing problems. This only comes about by education on healthy eating and home economics in school, and a real understanding of how diet and lifestyle influence health over the short and long-term for everyone. Reducing calorie intake goes a long way towards this but it is not the only factor in dietary health. But it's an important start.
Prevention of chronic diseases (of ageing) needs a new model of healthcare delivery. Nutrition professionals who are fully up-to-date in their field can help deliver a model that will ultimately provide the public health system with effective disease prevention, reducing the overall cost to the NHS over the long term.