Responding to the launch of the Government’s new Obesity Strategy today, Professor Dame Parveen Kumar, BMA Board of Science chair, said:
“Becoming obese can have a devastating impact on the health and wellbeing of our patients – it increases the risk of dreadful diseases such as diabetes, cancer and, as we’ve recently discovered, the severity of Covid-19.
“As the Government’s new strategy recognises, this has been a real ‘wake-up call’ for the nation, and it’s imperative that we use this opportunity to make changes for good, not only for society today, but also for generations to come.
“The BMA has long been calling for new ways to tackle obesity and we are delighted to see that the Government has sat up and listened, particularly in banning TV and online adverts for junk food before 9pm when children are most likely to see them.
“The focus on encouraging adults to also make healthier lifestyle choices is just as important, and measures such as alcohol calorie labelling and restricting in-store promotion of unhealthy foods could go a long way in kickstarting a health revolution for the nation.
“What we need now is for this strategy to be actioned as quickly as possible, with the promised expansion of NHS services delivered in full, with adequate resources and funding, to ensure that those struggling with their weight can get the support they need and deserve – both now and long after the pandemic is over.
“We look forward to seeing the full details of the strategy and how this will be achieved.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a trade union and professional association representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.