Despite a busy schedule, it’s important to me that I stay up to date with the latest research and the government initiatives that are set to influence people’s eating habits. It’s no wonder obesity is still high on the national agenda – 2010 data from Health and Social Care Information Centre suggests that over a quarter of us are classed as obese. We must take massive action. If we continue with the current health education programmes, we will continue to get the same results. Is the same enough? Although each of us needs to take responsibility for our actions and eating behaviour, we need to make it easier for people to make healthier choices.
I’m keen to find out whether the new Health and Well-Being Boards have made an impact and so I’ve signed up for the Tackling Obesity seminar being held by the Westminster Food and Health Forum. There’s an impressive line-up of speakers (including Dr Adrienne Cullum, Obesity Project Lead from NICE, and Richard Cienciala, Deputy Director of the Obesity & Food Policy Branch at the Department of Health). And I’m looking forward to meeting the respected Dr Mike Knapton again, whom I remember from my days on the British Heart Foundation Advisory Committee.
I hope to tweet updates from the seminar about how successful the Responsibility Deal has been and what the government is doing to encourage the food industry to reduce portion size and invest in healthier NPD.
The strategy needs far more aligned thinking from all sectors: government, the food industry, schools, consumer groups, healthcare professionals, parents, the catering industry, restaurants and takeaway outlets, and so on. Having been a Change4life spokesperson, I’d like to hear about the successes of the campaign and I’m looking forward to topping up my Continuous Professional Development as well as sharing best practice ideas with other healthcare professionals.
I’ll be tweeting live from the event on 12th Feb 2014, so do look out for my #WFNFEvents update tweets on the day. And if you happen to be attending, I’d love to debate the issues with you!