Government’s childhood obesity strategy receives criticism

Government’s childhood obesity strategy receives criticism

Addressing obesity among children is an urgent need as one third of the children today are overweight or obese. Government proposed a strategyto help combat obesity, but so far, it did not make an impressionon people.

Long term effects of obesity are heart disease, cancer, diabetes and others. Not only health, but wealth is also at risk. NHS invests £4bn every year to deal with health issues linked to obesity. If this amount continues to rise, obesity could shut down organization’s operations.

Inefficient strategies came to light after Public Health England (PHE) was asked to investigate the evidence for efforts that went along as planned. The efforts against obesity involved banning advertisement of junk food that targets children, restriction on TV adsof foods high in fat, salt and sugar.

But instead of these planned strategies, government was seen dealing with only two things: increasing physical activities and reduction in sugar intake. Nothing is done against advertising or price promotion for junk food so far. Only one change received with hope is recently announced sugar tax.

Under sugar tax, industry is required to reduce sugar in food products it manufactures. The targeted reduction in sugar is 20% by 2020. However, this initiative received criticism because of being voluntary and that not every company has participated in it. The food and drink companies are required to make changes to their products and reduce portion.

“It is becoming abundantly clear that replacing a critical ingredient of a product, or single nutrient in a diet, is neither an easy process for food companies nor a successful obesity strategy from a public health point of view”, said Sara Petersson of Euromonitor. She expressed concern about fat intake that would result from using natural sweeteners to achieve sugar reduction.