Can a ban on junk food ads and a fit miles scheme work?

Great credit must go to Boris Johnson, for his personal weight-loss efforts and to the NHS bosses who are maintaining the focus on overweight, obesity and healthy lifestyles.

Diabetes UK announced their latest research this week showing that a record five million people in Britain are now living with diabetes (90% have Type 2). In the Queen’s speech, her Majesty also said this week that the Government intend to impose a total ban on the advertising of unhealthy foods, referring to those high in sugar, salt and fat. People are to be rewarded with shopping vouchers for losing weight and exercising more under a fit miles incentive scheme.

The challenges the Government/NHS face are two-fold as follows:

1. Making the advertising ban work (assuming the definitions can be agreed), in the light of the multi-million offence the food manufacturers will launch.

2. Incentivising people to stop eating too many calories.

Some are even more dubious. Kate Halliwell of the Food and Drink Federation said the plans confirm that ‘this Government is interested in headline chasing policies rather than making serious interventions that will reduce obesity rates.’

Earn Your Health does not share these concerns. Any publicity highlighting the issue of overweight and obesity, described by Professor Chris Whitty as the next pandemic, must be positive even if the details lead to debate.

Further, Earn Your Health believes that its proposals, as set out in its ‘Healthy Future Programme’, will achieve more positive results in terms of people actually losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle when the reductions are in place. Resisting food is very difficult.

There is much literature offering explanations on how the body’s hormones control hunger pains (‘Life Without Diabetes’ by Professor Roy Taylor is a great read). However the truth is, late at night, after a stressful day, resisting the sandwich, cream cake or worst, is a matter of willpower and the determination to control one’s weight.

The thought that for every pound of weight lost, the individual will receive £100 (and bonuses for reaching agreed targets) is designed to achieve the person’s real wish: to lose weight, regain their self-respect and live a healthier life. Basing the scheme on the doctor’s practice and utilising the care and support of the GPs and their clinical support staff will ensure that the individual is protected against any setbacks and consequences that weight loss can produce.

And perhaps the fears expressed by Diabetes UK can be addressed as those suffering from Type 2 diabetes reduce in number. That would be fantastic.

Keywords: obesity, healthy future, UKhealth, healthylife, weightloss, fit miles, junk food ads, diabetes