The Faculty of Public Health (FPH) welcome today’s announcement of a new obesity strategy for England.
Obesity is a key risk factor for poor health, and we have seen rates of both childhood and adult Obesity in England rise significantly over the past twenty years.
With the threat of Covid-19 still present, it is more important than ever that families and individuals are empowered and supported in making choices which will help them stay fit and healthy.
Research led by FPH in 2019 demonstrated that NHS leaders thought that new regulations to prevent obesity and its risks – such as diabetes and hearts disease – was amongst the most important Government interventions to positively impact the health of populations across the UK.
Whilst FPH supports the measures announced today which hope to ‘empower adults to lose weight’, it is important to remember that obesity is experienced from childhood and is a disease of poverty. Systemic change is needed to combat the disease, and we see a sliding scale of obesity rates in England, with prevalence in the most deprived areas more than twice that of the least deprived.
Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction, FPH hope that Government will go further and demonstrate a sustained commitment to a comprehensive, well-resourced and evidence-based plan to tackle the root causes of deprivation and poverty which are inextricably linked to obesity.