Intended for healthcare professionals

Practice ABC of obesity

Obesity—time to wake up

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.333.7569.640 (Published 21 September 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:640

Comprehensive Response to Diet and Obesity

The BMJ this week contains two excellent articles on diet and ill-
health. They
are complementary. A bit of joined-up editing would have made that clear,

to the benefit of all.

Haslam, Sattar and Lean provide a brutal summary of the significance
of the
obesity epidemic. It is an ABC guide, so it is not the content which is
remarkable, but the prose. It sets out the practical consequences in
blunt
and vivid language that is appropriate but rare in medical journals.

Bryan Christie summarises a report by Lang and colleagues on why
there has
been so little progress over the past decade in reforming the worst diet
in the
UK, in Scotland. It highlights the need for everyone concerned about
public
health to engage with our dysfunctional food system.

Both articles acknowledge the complexity of the problems, the need
for both
prevention and treatment. But the emphases are different, one focussing
on
what doctors can do with patients, the other on the need to improve the
products and promotional practices of food manufacturers.

Together they make a whole. A comprehensive policy response requires
both
changing people and changing food. A bit of editorial linkage and
guidance
from the BMJ would have greatly aided understanding, helping readers to
put
one half together with the other half to make one.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

22 September 2006
Jack T Winkler
Director, Food & Health Research
28 St Paul Street, London n1 7AB