By Gerald Heneghan
A tax on fizzy drinks and a ban on junk food advertising are just two of the measures being proposed by doctors in response to the UK’s worsening obesity epidemic.
In its Measuring Up report, The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) has set out a number of propositions aimed at tackling the issue.
These include a ban on new fast food outlets being opened close to colleges and schools, in addition to a duty on all sugary soft drinks, which would see prices rise by at least 20 per cent on such products.
Professor Terrence Stephenson, chair of the Academy and paediatrician, warned that now is the time to forge alliances and implement innovations to tackle obesity “head-on”.
“As health professionals, we see it across all our disciplines – from the GP’s surgery to the operating table and everything in between. So it is no exaggeration to say that it is the biggest public health crisis facing the UK today. Yet too often, vested interests dub it too complex to tackle,” he said.
Professor Stephenson went on to note that the report’s publication marks the start of a campaign on the issue and AoMRC would be joining forces with a range of experts and organisations to move forward with its recommendations.
“The healthcare profession has taken the step of uniting to take action – and we’re calling on others to step up and take responsibility too,” he added.
According to the latest NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre report, more than a quarter of UK adults were classed as obese during 2010.
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