Reviews Press

Select committee castigated for citing death of 3 year old girl in obesity report

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 17 June 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1503
  1. Tom Sanders, professor of nutrition and dietetics (
  1. King's College London

    The House of Commons Select Committee's inquiry on obesity was published on 27 May. The press release, issued the previous day but embargoed till publication of the report, highlighted the rapidly rising rates of obesity, the potential health consequences, and the need to increase physical activity and focus on preventing obesity in children. However, Radio 4's Today programme on 26 May had been leaked a story that MPs would report the case of an obese child who died of heart failure. By the evening, the media was saying that the report was critical of both the government and the food industry, and called for the banning of food advertising aimed at children. The following morning, national newspapers carried headlines like “Obesity kills child of 3.”

    The report was officially available to the press for the first time on 27 May. Its second paragraph leaps out at the reader: “Over the …

    View Full Text

    Log in

    Log in through your institution


    * For online subscription