Job search
Job Search
Latest news
More news: (showing 1 - 20 of 13542)           
UK only International

689 weak policies by successive governments blamed for failure to tackle UK's obesity crisis.

By Tom Walker    22 Jan 2021
The report says the UK's obesity strategies have relied too much on individual agency / Shutterstock.com/shurkin_son

The failure to tackle the UK's obesity crisis is down to successive governments being guilty of weak policy design, lack of effectiveness and botched implementation.

That is the message of a hard-hitting report – published this week – which studied 14 government obesity strategies published from 1992 to 2020, containing a total of 689 wide‐ranging policies.

According to the study, the approach taken by governments to their own policies has "destined them to fail", as there has been a reliance on attempting to influence individuals to change their behaviours – rather than changing unhealthy environments.

There has also been a reluctance to learn from any previous failures – or very rare successes.

The study – conducted by a team at the University of Cambridge and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) – doesn't pull any punches: "Our study has provided new evidence that in almost 30 years, the UK government has proposed 689 wide‐ranging policies to tackle obesity in England but has not yet successfully and consistently reduced obesity prevalence or health inequities," say the report's authors – Dolly Theis and Martin White.

"Only one of the 14 government strategies commissioned an independent evaluation of previous government strategies for obesity, which suggests a significant deficit of government policy learning and may explain why similar or identical policies are put forward multiple times over many years.

"Many of these policies were set out in a way that does not readily lead to implementation, and the largest proportion of policies did not fulfill any of the implementation viability criteria.

"Overall, governments have adopted less interventionist policy approaches, although this has changed in recent years.

"The policies have relied on a 'high agency' design that relies on individuals to make behaviour changes, rather than shaping external influences such as the environment or economy and are thus less likely to be effective or reduce health inequities.

"We found that a wide range of inadequacies related to government obesity policies are likely to explain why governments have repeatedly failed to reduce the inequalities in, and the prevalence of, obesity.

"To increase the likelihood of policies being implemented, governments should accompany policy proposals with information ensuring they can readily lead to implementation, such as a clearly identified responsible agent, evaluation plan, and time frame.

"To increase the likelihood of effectiveness and equitability, governments should increasingly focus obesity strategies on 'low agency' population intervention policies that more comprehensively address the most powerful levers for system change."

Liz Terry, editor of HCM said: "COVID-19 preys on people with excess body fat and yet the government is failing to develop policies to address this or to sufficiently engage sectors – such as the health and fitness industry – which could be driving successful interventions.

"This is a hard thing to say, but as a society, the UK is at the eye of a perfect storm when it comes to the obesity challenge. Firstly, we are failing to teach children self-care, so they know how to eat well, exercise and lead a balanced life; secondly, society judges people who are overweight, creating a complex emotional and social minefield that needs to be unravelled before we can enable behaviour change and thirdly, we've cultivated a culture of dependency on the NHS, whereby too many people think they can live any way they choose without consequence and the NHS will fix them for free when it all goes wrong.

"As a society, we imbue the NHS with seemingly magical properties and view it as a huge comfort blanket that negates personal responsibility. It can indeed perform miracles, but testing it beyond its limit each day is not wise or sustainable.

"Over 75 per cent of all disease is lifestyle-related and the government must really refocus on prevention – not just talk about it – engage with the industries that can help and start creating change right now. Lives are being lost with every day we delay."

• To read the full report, click here.

Dolly Theis  Martin White  Obesity  Liz Terry 
Sign up for FREE ezines
Related news
Related features
Sports jobs
Edinburgh Leisure
featured job

Water Quality Engineer

Edinburgh Leisure
Salary: £33,513 - £37,236pa
Job location: Edinburgh, UK

Lifeguard

Stevenage Leisure Limited
Salary:
Location: Stevenage, UK

Apprentice Lifeguard

Stevenage Leisure Limited
Salary:
Location: Stevenage, UK

Swimming Teacher

University of East Anglia
Salary: £15.76ph
Location: Norwich, UK

Swim Teacher

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Nottingham, UK

Active Communities Instructor

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Stratford-upon-Avon

Basketball Coach/Activator

Everyone Active
Salary: £25.00 per hour
Location: Stradbroke, UK

Group Exercise Instructor - Aqua

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Barking, UK

Operations Assistant (NPLQ required)

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Bracknell, UK

Group Exercise Instructor

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Hornchurch, UK
recruiting with sports management

Sports Coach/Activator

Everyone Active
Salary: £20.00 per hour
Location: Stradbroke, UK

Group Exercise Instructor

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Barking, UK

Trainee Duty Manager

Stevenage Leisure Limited
Salary:
Location: Biggleswade, UK

Fitness Instructor

Stevenage Leisure Limited
Salary:
Location: Baldock, UK

Cafe Manager

Stevenage Leisure Limited
Salary:
Location: Biggleswade, UK

Operations Assistant (Dry Site)

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Bracknell

Recreation Attendant

Everyone Active
Salary: From £7.08 - £9.18
Location: Bracknell
recruiting with sports management

Food & Beverage Supervisor

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Bracknell

Operations Assistant (NPLQ required)

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Moulton, Northampton, UK

Membership Consultant

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive salary plus benefits
Location: Moulton, Northampton, UK

Duty Manager

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive Salary
Location: Brentwood, UK

Customer Success Manager

4global
Salary: Competitive salary + discretionary bonus
Location: Chiswick Park, London, UK

Accounts Coordinator

4global
Salary:
Location: Chiswick Park, London, UK

Account Manager (UK)

4global
Salary: Competitive salary + discretionary bonus
Location: Chiswick Park, London, UK
training with sports management

Physical Activity and Wellbeing Manager

Oxford City Council
Salary: £41,510 to £42,512 per annum - (pro rata for part time)
Location: Oxford, UK

Duty Manager (NPLQ)

Withington Baths
Salary: £22,500 - £23,500
Location: Withington, Manchester, UK

Group Health and Fitness Manager

Sport Aberdeen
Salary: £40,000pa
Location: Aberdeen, UK

Team Leader (NPLQ)

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive salary, excellent benefits
Location: Staines-upon-Thames, UK

Exercise Referral Instructor

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Stratford-upon-Avon, UK

Clip and Climb Instructor

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive salary
Location: Stratford-upon-Avon, UK

Swimming Teacher

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive hourly rate
Location: Staines-upon-Thames, UK
Swimming Teacher jobs  personal trainer jobs  Team Leader jobs  duty manager jobs  School Cycling Instructor jobs 
More jobs

Catalogue Gallery

Video Gallery

Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
A short time-lapse video showing our installation of the Robbins MVP timber flooring system, completed in Sept 2021 at The University of Kent Sport Centre in Canterbury
Visit website
More videos

Company profile

Company profile: We Work Well Inc
We Work Well is a global premier hosted buyer event company, connecting high-level executives from leading suppliers with pre-selected highly qualified buyers in the wellness and hospitality industries, through scheduled one-on-one meetings, networking activities, community, and purpose.
View full profile >
More company profiles

Featured Supplier

Parkwood Leisure celebrates milestone of teaching 100,000 children to swim
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading leisure operators, has reached the milestone of teaching 100,000 children to swim through its Learn To Swim Programme.
View full details >
More featured suppliers

Property & Tenders

Location: Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Company: Carmarthenshire County Council
Location: Runcorn
Company: Halton Borough Council
Location: City Centre Location - North of England
Company: Walker Singleton
Location: Bilborough, Nottingham
Company: Bilborough College
More properties & tenders

Diary dates

30-30 Jun 2022
The ICC, Birmingham, Birmingham , United Kingdom
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
More diary dates