Government adviser: Intervention will make it easier for public to fight obesity

26 July 2020, 11:49 | Updated: 26 July 2020, 11:53

By Seán Hickey

The Government's eagerness to fight obesity will be crucial in influencing Brits to "make the healthy choice."

Professor Susan Jebb is the Government's obesity advisor and Professor of Diet & Population at the University of Oxford and she was speaking to Iain Dale as plans for action on the UK's obesity crisis were hinted at by Boris Johnson this week.

Professor Jebb acknowledged that "the first most important thing is that the Prime Minister is willing to talk" about how obesity is a massive problem in the UK and willing to provide support.

She added that "some of the changes that are going to have to be made are really substantial."

Iain said that there are definitely lessons we can learn from Theresa May's implementation of a sugar tax in how Boris Johnson approaches the fight against obesity. "What we need is a bit of help from government to make it easier for us to do the things we want to do," Professor Jebb said.

She went on to explain that the plan to push ads for junk food past the watershed is a good start, pointing out that it "stops encouraging me to do the wrong thing."

The government have hinted at taking drastic action in the fight against obesity
The government have hinted at taking drastic action in the fight against obesity. Picture: PA

Professor Jebb stated that we need "support from Government to change the environment we live in a bit to make it easier for us to make the healthy choice" and while the advertising rule is a good start, there is much more we can do to support people.

"We've got to help more people who want to lose weight to be able to do that" the obesity expert said.

Iain noted that in the PM's experience of coronavirus, "his weight didn't help him on that," and this must be a main reason for why Government are planning to combat obesity.

Professor Jebb accepted it was a possibility, noting "we haven't been able to get a sense of urgency about it, coronavirus has certainly pushed this up the list."