Exquisite Life Exquisite Life Research Europe Research Fortnight

October 19, 2007

Fat Chance

by Alan Malcolm

Sir David King’s Foresight team has just produced its report: “Tackling Obesity: Future Choices”

It estimates that the current cost, £7bn, of treating obesity related medical problems will rise over the next few decades to a staggering £47bn.

The report calls for a concerted effort to tackle the issue involving not only biology and other life sciences, but also social and political action.

Let us hope it fares better than did “Health of the Nation” published 15 years ago. It set 10 year targets to reduce obesity, reduce caloric intake, and reduce saturated fat intake. It failed totally to make any impact whatsoever. One government inspired action was to allow and encourage schools to sell off playing fields.

Central and local Government expenditure on sport in the UK is roughly one quarter that in France.

Alan Malcolm

Alan Malcolm

Alan Malcolm has been in academic biochemistry with particular reference to medical applications, followed by seven years in food research. He is a visiting professor at the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine and is currently chief executive of the Institute of Biology. He writes here in a personal capacity.