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Government obesity proposals: “much more to do”

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has launched ‘Healthy Lives, Healthy People’, the Government’s new national scheme to combat the rising rate of excess weight in children and adults, stating that the nation’s diet needs to be cut by 5 billion calories per day.

Around two thirds of adults in England and a third of 10- and 11-year-olds are obese, which is a major risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer. An emphasis on eating a healthy balanced diet and taking part in regular physical activity can help in preventing weight gain or losing excess weight.

Slowing down Type 2 diabetes epidemic

Barbara Young, Diabetes UK Chief Executive, said, “The plan to cut the nation’s calorie intake is an admirable goal and one to be welcomed, but it’s clear there is much to do if we stand a realistic chance of preventing more people from becoming overweight and slowing the Type 2 diabetes epidemic.

“We would like to see the Government build on and invest more in the positive initiatives to date, such as Change4Life. Key decision makers in healthcare and the food industry play their part in helping people live healthier lives. This means much tougher regulation must be imposed. Diabetes UK has long demanded that food retailers adopt clear and consistent food labelling such as the traffic light system to help people make healthier choices. There must also be a ban on advertising of unhealthy foods that specifically targets children.

“We look forward to working closely with Government at both national and local level in supporting people to reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. There is an urgent need to introduce incentives for regular physical activity, and for us all to work to together to influence a change in the national psyche so the long-term benefits of keeping to a healthy weight and following a balanced diet are clearer.”

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