British government-corporate complex harms anti-obesity fight

This video from the USA is about fast food and obesity.

From British daily The Morning Star:

The Lancet criticises obesity campaign

(Thursday 08 January 2009)

A GOVERNMENT campaign to fight obesity with the help of food companies was strongly criticised by leading medical journal The Lancet on Thursday.

The three-year Change4Life campaign is aimed at families with children under 12 years old.

Its goal is to reduce the proportion of overweight children to the level that it was in 2000 by 2020.

But the decision to fund the campaign with money from manufacturers whose products may be contributing to the obesity epidemic came under fire from The Lancet.

The journal said: “It beggars belief that the government has decided to allow sponsorship by commercial companies in the order of £200 million, in addition to £75 million of public funding.

“Companies include PepsiCo and Kelloggsthe makers of the very products that contribute to obesity. Party to this sponsorship arrangement are also supermarkets that display rows upon rows of sugary snacks, cereals and soft drinks.”

New research shows that within a few short years of getting hitched, married individuals are twice as likely to become obese as are people who are merely dating: here.

USA: Doctor Forced Out for Disparaging Doughnuts: here.

How the 40 year drop in the minimum wage helped cause obesity: here.

Britain: Health campaigners have called for universal free school meals and better access to playgrounds as key to fighting child obesity, amid warnings of an epidemic of the disease among working-class youngsters.

Obesity and tooth decay in children are reaching epidemic levels, experts at a leading hospital have claimed: here.

A stressful job is associated with a bigger waistline, according to a new study of employees at a downsized company in upstate New York: here.

Obesity expert on toxic sugar: ‘People have said sugar is bad, but didn’t supply the biochemistry. I supplied that’: here.

Labour unveils ‘dossier of Tory failure’ on child obesity: here.

A GRIM picture of tens of thousands of children in Britain needlessly suffering rotting teeth and obesity was painted by shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth today. Speaking at the inaugural conference of the National Association for Hospital Education in Leicester, Mr Ashworth announced a £500 million programme to tackle child health problems if Labour comes to power. The association has been established to support education professionals who work with children and young people with medical and mental health difficulties. Mr Ashworth said Britain lagged behind other developed countries on mortality, breastfeeding and obesity rates and that social inequality in Britain was widening: here.

Super-sized citizens: the relationship between a country’s fast-food outlets and its obesity rates: here.

Researchers from The University of Queensland and University of Cambridge are exploring ways to help scientists better protect their work from the influence of the food industry. With rising obesity levels, and significant public interest in diet and health, the ethics surrounding research in this area is centre-stage: here.

The world’s population of children and adolescents with obesity is predicted to increase by 70 percent by 2030, from 150 million to 254 million. Without intervention, experts predict rates of obesity in higher income countries will stabilize at high levels while low and middle-income countries will struggle to handle a rapidly increasing public health problem: here.

25 thoughts on “British government-corporate complex harms anti-obesity fight

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  2. Chains pour salt into the young

    Health: Meals for children at some of Britain’s leading pub and fast food chains contain more salt than they should eat in an entire day, a study has found.
    Lunches containing more than the recommended 4g of salt were found at popular family restaurants including Wetherspoons, Harvester and Nando’s, Consensus Action on Salt and Health said.
    Nando’s and Wetherspoons both had children’s meals containing three times as much salt as a McDonald’s Happy Meal of a hamburger and fries.

    See also


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  5. Excellent post! Thank you!
    I saw a special a couple of years ago citing the same points. And now see it more and more with the rise of health care rates and changes in your health care choices with a deductible being met first. Last week I went to a health insurance seminar and learned that diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, ulcers, back pain, and depression are the top conditions that are paid out expenses from your health insurance providers. I guess that says it all!

    Definitely reblogging this on my reblog page!


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  7. HEALTH: More girls under 20 are overweight or obese in Britain than anywhere else in western Europe, alarming new research showed yesterday.

    In this age group, 29.2 per cent of the British population are overweigh. Just over 8 per cent of the girls meet the clinical definition of obesity, having a body mass index of 30 or above.

    Only Greece is on a par with Britain for girls under 21, with 0.1 per cent lower prevalence.


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  12. Saturday 12th December 2015

    posted by Morning Star in Editorial

    ENGLAND’s chief medical officer (CMO) Dame Sally Davies ducks the most important issue concerning women’s obesity in her latest annual report.

    She is right to point to the magnitude of the problem, although equating it with terrorism and cyber-crime is to sensationalise — and thereby risk trivialising — it. She is right, too, to call for tackling obesity among the population at large to be a national priority.

    Obesity increases the risk of contracting cancer, type two diabetes, heart disorders and other diseases. It can drastically reduce both the quality and length of life.

    One quarter of adults in Britain have a body mass index which categorises them as not only overweight but obese, with a slightly higher rate in Scotland and a lower one — although not for children — in Wales.

    While a higher proportion of men than women are obese, the situation is reversed for young women (aged 16-24).

    Dame Sally’s report, The Health of the 51 per cent: Women, contains numerous and detailed recommendations to address obesity as it manifests itself in the different stages of women’s lives, including the prenatal and perinatal periods and the menopause.

    It also contains other vital sections on gender-based violence and mental health which should not be overlooked.

    But in presenting her report, England’s CMO proposes little to combat obesity on the scale required, beyond calling upon manufacturers and retailers to cease manufacturing and promoting unhealthy food or face a “sugar tax.”

    While the former would be beneficial, the latter would also punish the poor with higher prices without greatly changing people’s diets.

    This brings us to the enormous elephant in the room. The reality is that many people’s eating habits, obesity and physical health are closely related to their income and social class.

    This has been widely known in professional and academic circles since at least the publication of the Black Report, which the Thatcher government tried to suppress in 1980.

    Today, countless studies in Britain, the US, Australia and elsewhere confirm the link between socioeconomic status, income, poverty, obesity, ill health and life expectancy.

    This link is particuarly strong in the case of women. For example, whereas between 29 and 35 per cent of female manual workers in England are obese, compared with 18-21 per cent of female managers and professionals, the proportions for men are 24-27 and 20-24 per cent respectively.

    In the poorest 40 per cent of English households, 31 per cent of women are obese, compared with 24-29 per cent of men. In the highest-income fifth, on the other hand, the proportions are 19 and 24 per cent. The same disparities exist among children, but are even more pronounced.

    While some authors in Dame Sally’s report mention social status and low income as a factor exacerbating women’s obesity, nowhere is this elaborated and addressed.

    The political, social and cultural implications of doing so would be vast.

    It would mean putting an end to gender pay discrimination and poverty wages, increasing welfare benefits — especially for parents and carers — instead of cutting them, investing massively in health services — including for women — instead of squeezing budgets in the quest for £20 billion “efficiency savings,” making leisure and fitness facilities easily available for all instead of raising charges or curtailing them, and making playing fields and parks safe and accessible for children instead of selling them off and sacking our few remaining park wardens.

    It would mean expanding public investment in information, education, services and health.

    Above all, it means women enjoying equality of income, wealth, aspiration and opportunity.


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