Obese People Should Take Personal Responsibility, British Govt Says

Obese people need to be more honest about how much they eat and drink, say British ministers in reference to a new government initiative to curb England’s obesity rate.

The crux of a new strategy introduced by British governmental leaders aimed at curbing obesity is for obese people to take personal responsibility for their eating habits.

Rather than introduce legislative measures, such as a “fat tax”, designed to dissuade individuals from making poor dietary decisions, the government emphasized the need to create an environment that promotes healthy lifestyle choices. Such efforts include using parliamentary powers to encourage more physical activity through cycling networks, green spaces, and similar health-focused initiatives.

“We have to halt and then reverse the tide of obesity in this country,” Health Secretary Andrew Lansley told BBC News. “Government has a role to play, but it is clear that we cannot do this alone.”

A white paper dealing with obesity released by the Ministry of Health noted that the government’s “responsibility deal” will encourage private firms to commit to a series of pledges, such as including calorie counts on menus and reducing the amount of salt in processed foods. Participating supermarkets will be required to offer at least 50 promotions on fresh fruit and vegetables each week and pledge not to place alcohol in store foyers.

Experts labeled the strategy “pathetic and stupid”, warning that telling people to simply cut calories would do little to solve the problem.

Photo courtesy JamieOliver.comCelebrity chef Jamie Oliver, who has led an ongoing campaign to tackle childhood obesity in the U.S. and United Kingdom, likewise criticized the government initiative.

“Simply telling people what they already know is a cop out,” Oliver told The Mirror. He added, “The country’s bill of health is shocking and it’s not going to get any better over the next 30 years if a clearly-defined plan isn’t put into place soon.”


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