Intended for healthcare professionals


Obese and hungry: two faces of a nation

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 06 August 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m3084

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Linked Editorial

Covid-19 exposes the UK’s broken food system

  1. J Bernadette Moore, associate professor of obesity,
  2. Charlotte EL Evans, associate professor in nutritional epidemiology and public health nutrition
  1. School of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
  1. Correspondence to: J Bernadette Moore j.b.moore{at}

Inequality is a leading contributor to both

Last week heralded both the government’s latest obesity policy paper for England and the first part of an independent review of the UK food system, commissioned to inform a national food strategy.12

Framed in the context of evidence that obesity increases the risk of severe complications and death from covid-19, some long overdue aspects of the obesity strategy are welcome. These include restrictions on the promotion, by volume (such as buy one get one free) and location (near check out) of foods high in fat, sugar, and salt, as well as a ban on advertising such foods before 9 pm on television and online.

Nonetheless, with further consultation planned and a long timeline for implementation (end of 2022), impatience remains justified. The evidence that food marketing through advertising and product placement has an adverse effect on people’s food preferences and consumption patterns is irrefutable. …

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