Dr Suzie Edge on 21st century nutrition and health

Secretary of State for Poor Health

Secretary of State for Poor Health

I’ve been catching up with Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and his fat fight. He likes a good fight and I’m so glad he has chosen this one. Whilst I’m a little down that the calories-in-calories-out mantra is still prevailing, there was something that was even more worrisome about it. I was so frustrated that Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health, refused to talk to Hugh about the massive problem facing the NHS – that of obesity.

OK, sure, I have been heard to have a go at Jeremy Hunt previously. The way he dealt with his fight with junior doctors was dreadful but it was just that, a fight between the two of them. With this, I am astounded and frankly furious that he wouldn’t talk with Hugh about the diabesity crisis. You can’t shrug and walk away from this one Mr Hunt. The dietary guidelines affect everyone. We are getting it so wrong and if you genuinely think that we are making decent changes then come out and talk to us, shout about it from the rooftops if you think we have a good policy on this looming disaster.

George Osborne, former Chancellor, started a sugar tax which recently came in to force and I applaud that. It has critics, of course. There are those who think it will do no good and it is just another way to make the Government more money. I think it is a good start and am looking forward to the seeing the outcomes.

Then again, take a look at Hugh’s visit to the Conservative Party conference, where he found it to be sponsored by the giant that is Tate and Lyle. You couldn’t make it up. We have an enormous, uphill, sugar-fuelled struggle ahead.


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