Editorials

The failure of anti-obesity programmes in schools

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k507 (Published 07 February 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k507

Re: The failure of anti-obesity programmes in schools

This is not te first obesity prevention trial to have failed, and it is definitely not the last. I applaud this editorial because such trials are necessary elements of testing our understanding of obesity. Really, the common sense approaches endorsed by governments worldwide are mostly useless.

“But these are 'necessity driven' actions rather then evidence driven. Before children are denied access to television, games, and chocolates, let us look at the evidence. Although some interventions promise limited effectiveness in weight reduction, not one trial has shown prevention of weight gain in the population.” (PMID:10858053) The faith-based mass programs like changes in taxation and limiting access to soft drinks are impressive but costly and a total failure. Failures may make us angry, but instead of next trying "what if?” we need thorough testing of the proposed interventions, whatever they are and how reasonable they appear to common sense.

Competing interests: No competing interests

13 February 2018
Vasiliy Vlassov
Physician
National Research University Higher School of Economics
Moscow, Russia