So here it is, the long awaited, much delayed Childhood Obesity Strategy:
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. The most risible section of this sorry excuse for a policy – it isn’t actually policy at all, and for reasons that aren’t appropriate for this blog, I know what a government policy looks like – is the section headed “Harnessing the best new technology” which says:
Public Health England will hold an annual digital technology ‘hackathon’, bringing together leading developers and programmers to produce innovative solutions to address childhood obesity.
What??? We are going to resolve a “public health emergency” (not my words – the Government’s) with a smart phone app? Well fuck me backwards!! If only we had thought of that five years ago we wouldn’t be in this sorry mess!!
If you really want to understand what’s behind this document, this sentence tells you all you need to know:
We are confident that our approach will reduce childhood obesity while respecting consumer choice, economic realities and, ultimately, our need to eat.
In other words, there’s nothing the government can do, it’s all your fault because you have no money (not our fault), you make bad choices (not our fault by the way) and you eat food (definitely Not Our Fault).
The Diabetes Times is covering the story in a measured way, but even so, you can’t escape that this 10 page (yes it is only ten pages long) document is a national embarrassment:
In a less measured response, poor old Jamie Oliver is in shock:
The Times seems to know exactly who to blame:
I seem to remember Jamie saying that, if the strategy didn’t deliver, he was going to get “a bit ninja” UK Secretary for Health Declares Childhood Obesity a “national emergency” as Jamie Oliver Prepares to be “really upset”.
Over to you Jamie…