UCL in the News: Call for rethink in obesity fight
14 December 2007
Obesity cannot be tackled by just encouraging healthier eating and more exercise, health experts say.
Work conditions, food subsidies, town planning and advert restrictions are all key, the experts wrote in the British Medical Journal. …
The findings mirror the conclusions of the recent government-backed Foresight report in the UK, which said societal issues were also to blame for rising obesity levels.
These experts, led by a UCL academic, agreed, saying tackling obesity was far more complex than just encouraging healthy eating and more exercise. …
The authors pointed to the example set by Norway, which has used a combination of food subsidies, price manipulation and clear nutrition labelling to steer people away from unhealthy food.
Dr Sharon Friel [UCL Epidemiology & Public Health] said a "dynamic" response was needed that included joined-up action at global, national and local levels.
"Missing in most obesity prevention strategies is the recognition that obesity - and its unequal distribution - is the consequence of a complex system that is shaped by how society organises its affairs." …