Health secretary Alan Johnson will call for a national movement to tackle obesity in a speech tonight (July 23). Speaking to the Fabien Society, he will outline the public health implications of the growth obesity epidemic.
Johnson (pictured) is also meeting with leaders from major health charities, retailers, health professionals and community action groups today to discuss forming a national campaign to help people change their lifestyles. He says that he has also written to 220,000 local activists who are already working in local communities to promote good health.
He will tell the Society that any strategy to combat the issue will only succeed if “every part of our society recognises the problem and joins together” to address it.
He adds: “Just as the Government has a moral duty to tackle poverty and exclusion, so it has a duty to address obesity. But this is not a licence to hector and lecture people on how they should spend their lives – not least because this simply won’t work. Tackling obesity requires a much broader partnership, not only with families, but also with employers, retailers, the leisure industry, the media, local government and the voluntary sector.
He says that “vilifying” people with weight problems does not encourage behavioural change, but a presenting an intelligent message to parents about their effects of being obese does have impact.
Johnson adds: “We are call on everyone – from the smallest community keep fit class to the biggest retailers in the land – to join in this campaign to change the way we live our lives.”