One in four adults in the UK are obese and this proportion is expected to double (to one in two) by 2050. Britain suffers from the highest obesity rate in Europe with one in three children overweight or obese by the age of nine.
With statistics like these is it any surprise that doctors are calling for hospitals to ban junk food to fight obesity crisis?
Junk food should be banned from every hospital in the country to help tackle Britain’s obesity crisis, senior doctors will declare today.
Surgeons, consultants and GPs from across the country will demand the end of crisps, chocolate and fizzy drinks in hospital meals, vending machines and shops near wards.
In a motion to be tabled at the British Medical Association’s (BMA) annual conference in Edinburgh, Dr Aseem Malhotra will call on the BMA’s 150,000 doctors to lobby the Department of Health for a complete ban on unhealthy food in the NHS.
He will argue that solving the country’s growing obesity scandal must start with the NHS getting its own “house in order”.
Writing in the British Medical Journal today, cardiologist Dr Malhotra warned: “Foods loaded with sugar, salt and trans fats, fuelled by the junk food industry’s aggressive and irresponsible marketing, have been allowed to hijack the very institutions that are supposed to set an example – our hospitals.
“On daily ward rounds it is appalling to see patients, some of whom are not fully mobile, gorging on crisps, confectionary, and cola – the very food items that may have contributed to their admission in the first place.”
He added: “It is obscene that many hospitals continue to have high street fast food franchises on site, as well as corridors littered with vending machines selling junk food.
“Obesity alone is costing the NHS £6billion a year.
“The obesity epidemic represents a public health crisis, but it is a public health scandal that by legitimising junk food hospitals have themselves become a risk factor for diet related disease.
“It’s time for the BMA to join the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges in lobbying for a ban on sales of junk food and beverages in hospitals. We must start in our own back yard.”
As more and more young people becoming overweight or obese, the number of Brits under 40 with type 2 diabetes had spiralled by 820% in the last 20 years.
Around 2.9 million people have diabetes in Britain. About 90% of those have type 2.
Type 2 is linked to lifestyle factors such as being overweight or obese, leading a sedentary lifestyle and eating an unhealthy diet.
Worryingly, experts fear another 850,000 people have diabetes but have not been diagnosed.
Professor Terence Stephenson, chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, last night said he would welcome the backing of the BMA.
He added: “In many hospital receptions patients pass by fast food outlets or vending machines selling confectionery, sugary drinks and crisps.
“If the NHS is to send out a message that it takes the obesity crisis seriously, it cannot recreate the same unhealthy environment inside hospitals as exists on the high street.
“We have to make sure that patients and staff alike are offered healthy and nutritious meal choices.”
2013 Miles in 2013
This year I am trying to complete 2013 miles self-powered miles. It is has been 10 years since my cousin’s son Adam lost his fight with Cystic Fibrosis. Adam was just 18 years old when when he lost his lifelong battle with CF, the UK’s most common life-threatening inherited disease. Despite spending large parts of his short life in hospital Adam never once complained, not even of a headache and was determined to make the most of everyday.
My 2013 miles in 2013 challenge is in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust as I have been surprised since I started fundraising for the CF Trust just how many people are unaware of this disease and so I hope my efforts will not just raise money, but also awareness of the UK’s most most common life-threatening inherited disease.
The first person to commit to sponsoring my 2013 mile challenge has committed to 1p per mile (£20.13 in total) and this got me thinking. I am hoping that as many as possible of those reading this will commit to do the same and the best thing is, if each person does this on a “pay as you go” type approach all you will need to part with is approx £2 just after each pay day. In January I completed 205.9 miles, in February I completed a further 200.9 miles, in March I completed 185.7 miles, in April I completed 192.1 miles and in May I completed 168 miles. If you can please spare £9.53 to help the Cystic Fibrosis Trust it will be greatly appreciated.
The easiest way to give your sponsorship is to visit my Just Giving page: http://www.justgiving.com/2012-AYearWithoutBeer-CF.
2013 Miles in 2013 – The rules
The rules for my 2013 miles in 2013 challenge are quite simple:
- All miles must be completely self powered (no motors, sails, etc)
- I must be able to evidence all miles, either via GPS or with a picture of any static gym equipment
To complete my 2013 miles I will be running, cycling, rowing and who knows, I might even try a few other self powered methods along the way.