New report calls on UK Government to reverse the rise in obesity levels

Bold new policies – such as a levy on the food industry and phasing out all forms of junk food marketing – are needed to improve the health of the population.

28 September 2021

A new ten-year report from a coalition of health organisations and experts, including members of the SPECTRUM Consortium, has called on the Government to take action to reverse the persistently high levels of excess weight in the population.

The Obesity Health Alliance brought together a group of leading clinicians, academic and policy specialists to assess the evidence related to the multiple factors that influence healthy weight. Their report, ‘Turning the Tide: A 10-year Healthy Weight Strategy’ emphasises that change is possible, with a system-wide approach that includes multiple policies that work together to both change the environment and provide support to individuals.

The report sets out a long-term agenda for action with 30 policy recommendations, covering food reformulation and marketing, early years and treatment as well as the infrastructure needed to ensure policies are robustly implemented and evaluated.

Turning the tide on obesity is achievable. Over the same three decades in which obesity has continued to rise, UK smoking rates have been halved - achieved through a series of comprehensive government strategies. ‘Turning the Tide’ sets out a clear evidence-based agenda for policies and interventions to bring about similar success and reduce the impact of excess weight on a range of diseases.