Specialists condemn government’s obesity plan as too simplistic

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 17 October 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d6688
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

Experts in public health and obesity have condemned the government’s plan for reducing obesity in England because it focuses only on individual responsibility and fails to tackle the influence of the food and drinks industry, they say.

The government’s new strategy document sets out measures for reducing obesity as the NHS moves towards a new public health system. Its main recommendation is to “empower” people to make healthy decisions by providing information and tailored support on weight management at a local level. Although it recognises that physical activity is important, the plan suggests that reducing energy intake is the key to weight loss.

“We will favour interventions towards the less intrusive end of the Nuffield ladder [which ranks public health measures from doing nothing to eliminating choice]—with a focus on equipping people to …

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