Henry Dimbleby: Conservatives' obesity strategy makes no sense, ex-adviser says

8 months ago 65

Burger and chipsImage source, Getty Images

By Becky Morton

Political reporter

The government's ain erstwhile advisor has criticised the Conservative Party's attack to tackling obesity, saying it "makes nary sense".

Henry Dimbleby announced his resignation arsenic the government's nutrient tsar in the Sunday Times.

The co-founder of nutrient concatenation Leon said ministers had "pulled back" connected promises to restrict junk nutrient advertising.

The authorities said it would proceed to enactment with manufacture to assistance radical marque healthier choices.

Mr Dimbleby said helium was stepping backmost from his relation due to the fact that helium wanted to beryllium escaped to talk retired against authorities policy.

"I deliberation the ideology of the Conservative Party and the mode that they are dealing with the occupation of diet-related illness makes nary sense," helium told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"In 10 years' time, immoderate authorities is successful powerfulness they are going to beryllium dealing with immense problems to the NHS, which is going to suck wealth from the remainder of authorities spending and origin misery from diet-related disease."

He blamed a "feedback loop betwixt companies and their commercialized incentives and our appetite", adding that "the authorities needs to intervene".

But instead, Mr Dimbleby said "this modern Conservative ideology conscionable thinks it tin permission everything successful the strategy without immoderate involution astatine all", with the authorities reluctant to beryllium seen arsenic taking a "nanny state" approach.

He argued that voters, including those successful alleged Red Wall areas - erstwhile Labour seats which the Tories are keen to support clasp of - wanted the authorities to enactment due to the fact that "they're fed up of their children being marketed junk food".

Mr Dimbleby was a non-executive committee subordinate astatine the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for 5 years.

As portion of his relation helium conducted an autarkic reappraisal of the nutrient system. The report's recommendations included measures specified arsenic taxing the brackish and sweetener successful processed foods, with immoderate of the revenues utilized to supply caller effect and vegetables to low-income families.

However, Mr Dimbleby was captious of the government's effect to the review, saying galore of his argumentation recommendations had not been taken forward.

Image source, Henry Dimbleby

Image caption,

Henry Dimbleby co-founded the edifice concatenation Leon

Last year, the authorities delayed a planned prohibition connected "buy 1 get 1 free" offers connected unhealthy foods successful England until October 2023 to measure the interaction connected household finances successful airy of the cost-of-living crisis.

A prohibition connected TV advertizing of junk nutrient earlier 21:00 has besides been pushed backmost to October 2025 to springiness the manufacture much clip to hole for the restrictions.

An estimated 26% of adults successful England are obese, portion a further 38% are overweight, according to the latest NHS figures.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "We instrumentality tackling obesity earnestly and we volition proceed to enactment intimately with manufacture to marque it easier for radical to marque healthier choices.

"We precocious announced £20m to proceedings caller obesity treatments and technologies to assistance prevention the NHS billions, and stay committed to introducing restrictions banning adverts connected TV for foods and drinks precocious successful fat, salt, oregon sweetener (HFSS) earlier 9pm, arsenic good arsenic paid-for adverts online."

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