Labour promises bold action on five “giants of modern living”

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 07 July 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4462
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1Manchester

Labour’s new policy on public health is aimed at five 21st century “giants”—ageing, addiction, obesity, inequality, and insecurity, the shadow health secretary, Andy Burnham, has said.

He said that the policy, still being worked on, would have a clear moral purpose and a strong role for legislation, where necessary, to fill the “vacuum of leadership” on public health in recent years. A Labour government, if elected in 2015, would set a “new national ambition” to get people more physically active and to “enshrine” the independent status of directors of public health within local government.

The policy would draw a distinction between measures to protect children and general public health measures for the rest of the population and restore the cabinet subcommittee on public health.

“We would argue unapologetically that the state has a moral obligation to intervene to protect children from harm …

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