First published on Oct 14th 2011
There seems to be general agreement that the DH has lost the plot on tackling obesity. No-one seems to have a good word to say about it. The country seems to have lost faith completely in professionals, so instead of turning to a public health expert for the story, the Guardian leads on the nations most acknowledged expert on such matters. One Jamie Oliver.
He doesn’t quite use these words, but he basically accuses the Government of washing its hands of the problem of obesity.
So I decided to find out just what the government has said. Easier said than done! Only this week, the Chief Knowledge Officer recommended Google as the best way to find anything on the DH website, and how right he was. It took a little while to find out that Change4Life is where I should have been looking. Or should I have been looking at the Dietary Energy Recommendations Report? Or the Responsibility Deal?
We are told that if we reduce our consumption of caffe latte by four Olympic swimming pools worth each year, then we will hit the target of a 10% reduction in Calorie intake and reduce our average BMI well inside the recommended figures. It is not clear if that is before, or after we have increased our exercise rate by swimming in the coffee we have so carefully tipped into our four new swimming pools.
But the Guardian has it all sewn up. Alongside Jamie’s pronouncements, we discover the real solution to the problem. A report that one in six mobile phones is covered in faeces, because we don’t wash our hands well enough.
So the answer is – swim in coffee to work off any unnecessary fat, spend more time on the phone, helping to raise taxes and stimulate the economy, then run to the facilities for a quick weight loss exercise, as diarrhoea takes hold.
Oh! By the way! Tomorrow is Global Handwashing Day. The highlight for all cabinet ministers everywhere. The day they can legitimately gloss over all those problems they aren’t tackling.