What do you think we should do to tackle the UK obesity epidemic?

As healthy living campaign JanUary kicks off, we've taken a look at what you think would reduce obesity levels across the country.
How do you think we should tackle the obesity crisis? Picture: PixabayHow do you think we should tackle the obesity crisis? Picture: Pixabay
How do you think we should tackle the obesity crisis? Picture: Pixabay

The JanUary campaign, which launches today and runs until Sunday, is focused on promoting how our country could be healthier.

And a survey carried out as part of the campaign has revealed that a third of Britons believe increasing the mandatory amount of PE in schools would be the most effective way to help reduce obesity levels.

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A similar number of people think that clearer labeling of food and drink products would help to tackle the crisis.

But what do you think?

Schools in England are required to include PE within their curriculum, but are allowed to set the amount of time they spend on physical activity after a government target of two hours a week was scrapped in 2012. The poll also found that, when asked to choose between a range of potential health measures, nearly a quarter of respondents thought a ban on advertising “junk foods” before a watershed of 9pm would work best, with a similar percentage believing loyalty-style promotions by supermarkets would encourage the purchase of healthy products and be the most effective way of reducing obesity levels.

One in five Britons chose a ban on “buy one get one free” promotions - and also believe that reduced portion sizes and taxes on products high in salt, sugar and fat would be most productive in cutting the country’s obesity numbers.

To do your bit for JanUary campaign, led by the National Obesity Forum and Heart Research UK, you can make a New Year’s resolution to improve your health - whether it’s through increasing your understanding of food and drink, upping your exercise or supporting others in their bid to shape up.

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Barbara Dinsdale, Head of Lifestyle at Heart Research UK, said: “The scale of the obesity problem in the UK is well known, and puts a strain on public services, particularly the NHS. “Ultimately, good habits and good choices are needed to address what is an epidemic. That needs to start in school, as well as in the home, and it’s essential children are encouraged to be physically active.

“But Britons also want to see clear information and to be incentivised to make healthy choices, whether through in-store promotions, smaller portions or better product labeling. There is an opportunity for the food and drink industry to build on the work it’s doing and to help customers make these healthy choices.”

Tam Fry, Spokesman for the National Obesity Forum, said: “There is no quick fix to a problem that’s grown over more than 20 years.

“We need to encourage children to be more physically active and less wedded to computers, mobiles and television. And we need to ensure children and adults are encouraged to pick healthy foods, and discouraged from those high in sugar, salt and fats.”

For more information about the JanUary campaign, visit http://www.jan-u-ary.co.uk.

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