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New plans to fight obesity

Health secretary Alan Johnson has set out the Government's ambition for Britain to become the first major country to "reverse the rising tide of obesity".

Mr Johnson announced a series of initiatives in the Commons backed by £372m of funding aimed at tackling the obesity epidemic.

Government proposals

Plans include making breast feeding the "default option" for mothers, introducing compulsory cooking lessons for schoolchildren and giving councils the power to limit the spread of fast food restaurants near schools and parks.

The Government will also be spending £75m on an advertising campaign to encourage a healthy diet and exercise among youngsters.

Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “Rising levels of obesity are closely linked to an increase in the number of people being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Following a healthy diet and leading an active lifestyle reduces the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

"We welcome the Government’s willingness to encourage people to exercise more and eat healthily." 

Resources

He added: "Nevertheless we also want the Government to set aside enough resources and money in place to make sure that those goals are achieved.

"We know that the NHS spends £5bn a year treating people with diabetes, so there is a strong case for allocating substantial funds to try to prevent people from developing Type 2 diabetes.

"Diabetes UK would also like to see the Government take a tougher stance taken on junk food advertising.

"The health of our nation is at stake as diabetes is a serious condition that can lead to complications such as heart disease, blindness, stroke, amputation and kidney disease.”

 

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