Intended for healthcare professionals


Prevention green paper lacks ambition, say critics

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 23 July 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l4829

Linked Opinion

The prevention green paper—blink and you’ll miss it

  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

The government’s green paper on preventing ill health in the next decade has been widely criticised as a “missed opportunity” for failing to tackle widening health inequalities, stalling life expectancy, increasing obesity levels, and damage from alcohol.

The paper, published by the Department of Health and Social Care,1 sets a target for England to be smoke free by 2030 and promises an evidenced based review of NHS Health Checks, a ban on selling energy drinks to under 16s, and new strategies to increase uptake of vaccination and to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

It also promises a new “composite health index,” as recommended last year by England’s chief medical officer, to track the nation’s wellbeing and to be used to evaluate the effects of wider government policies.

But it lacks positive commitment in terms of action on food and obesity and has no mention of a minimum price for a unit of alcohol.

The government said that it would …

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