|Title:||The Call to Action on Obesity: Taking Responsibility, Changing Behaviour|
|Date:||Tuesday 3rd July 2012|
|Time:||10.00am – 4:30pm|
|Venue:||Broadway House, Westminster|
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|Prof. Alan Maryon-Davis, Hon Professor of Public Health, Department of Primary Care and Public Health Sciences, King's College London, School of Medicine|
|Dr. Justin Varney, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, NHS Barking and Dagenham|
|Melanie Pilcher, Policy and Standards Manager, Pre-School Learning Alliance|
|Richard Cienciala, Deputy Director, Obesity and Food Policy, Department of Health|
England has one of the highest rates of obesity in Europe. The latest Health Survey for England (HSE) data shows that nearly one in four adults, more than one in ten children aged 2-10 and one in three 10-11 year olds are obese. Excess weight is a leading cause of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancers and given that the prevalence of these diseases is already rising due to people living longer, the extra burden from obesity could add a substantial cost of more than £5 billion each year to the healthcare system. It is predicted that there will be 26 million obese adults in the U.K by 2030 – 48% of the adult male population and 43% of adult females, a rise of 73% from the current 15 million, adding almost another £2 billion per year in medical costs for obesity-related diseases.
According to official figures more than a fifth of children are now overweight or obese by the time they start school and one in five by the time they leave primary school. To ensure that all children have a positive start in life, new nutritional guidelines were introduced in January 2012 to support early years settings in providing healthy meals. Additionally, the role of the food and drinks industry can be developed through the Responsibility Deal to prevent unhealthy food marketing and encourage healthier choices.
In October 2011, the Department of Health published Healthy Lives, Healthy People: A Call to Action on Obesity in England (October 2011). The document sets out the challenge, presents a vision of how we can work together and calls on all of us all to tackle overweight and obesity more effectively by adopting a ‘life course’ approach. Action is needed at all ages and needs to encompass a balance of investment and effort in prevention, treatment and support. There is an emphasis on giving businesses, government and NGOs the opportunity to play a greater role in changing the environment allowing everyone to make healthier choices and contributing to a downward trend in obesity by 2020.
Through a new collective pledge on calorie reduction, individuals, communities, businesses and partners are joining forces to help cut five billion calories from the nation’s daily diet. This timely symposium offers an invaluable opportunity to examine the progress made in tackling obesity in children and adults and explore future actions in combating obesity from pre-conception through to adulthood.
|09:30||Registration and Morning Refreshments|
|10:15||Chair’s Welcome and Introduction|
Panel Session One:
Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Towards a Life Course Approach
|11:15||Morning Coffee Break|
|11:30||Open Floor Discussion and Debate with Panel One|
Panel Session Two:
Prevention and Early Intervention – Working Together to Combat Obesity from an Early Age
|14:15||Afternoon Coffee Break|
|14:30||Open Floor Discussion and Debate with Panel Two|
|15:30||Chair’s Summary and Closing Comments|
“ Eating and drinking too many calories is at the heart of the nation’s obesity problem. We all have a role to play – from individuals to public, private and non-governmental organisations – if we are going to cut five billion calories from our national diet. It is an ambitious challenge but the Responsibility Deal has made a great start. This pledge is just the start of what must be a bigger, broader commitment from the food industry. But it is a great step in the right direction and will help millions of us eat and drink fewer calories. ”
— Health Secretary, March 2012
“ We must get to grips with the problem now to save lives and money in the future. Most of us are eating or drinking more than we need to and are not active enough. Being overweight or obese is a direct consequence of eating more calories than we need. Increasing physical activity is a part of the equation, but reducing the amount of calories we consume is key. We all have a role to play, from businesses to local authorities, but as individuals we all need to take responsibility. This means thinking about what we eat and thinking about the number of calories in our diets to maintain a healthy weight. ”
— Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England, October 2011