In response to the introduction of a sugar tax on soft drinks, announced in the Budget, Mr Roger Ackroyd, president of BOMSS, said: “A focus on the problem of drinks with a high sugar content and little or no nutritional value is welcome – but it should be part of wide and coherent strategy to tackle rising levels of overweight and obesity across society which robs people of their health and places such a financial burden on the health service.”
Members of the Obesity Health Alliance, a campaign group which formed last year to tackle obesity – and which includes BOMSS – has expressed concern about the increased to children’s health caused by the delay of the Government’s Obesity Strategy.
The Government’s strategy has already been delayed for months but the Department of Health has now confirmed that it will not be published until the summer, after the European referendum. With almost two thirds of adults and almost a third of children in the UK overweight or obese, members of the Alliance have warned that every day without an effective strategy in place means that the obesity time bomb is ticking, and that opportunities are being missed to protect the health and wellbeing of children and their families.
The group members say it is vital that the Prime Minister shows strong leadership, and calls on the Government to take urgent steps to address the obesity crisis. Being overweight or obese poses significant risk factors for serious health conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, a range of cancers and poor mental health. These conditions have a devastating impact on our nation’s health and also place a huge financial burden on the NHS.
The OHA has produced a joint position statement which outlines ten urgent population-level policy interventions for government, retailers and health professionals. This is accessible at: https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/news/new-alliance-obesity-outlines-priorities-action