The forthcoming general election will not be won or lost solely on the “Brexit battleground”. As campaigning begins in earnest, voters will inevitably look to the other big areas of policy that will determine which party wins their vote.
The public care about health. Alongside the economy and education, health is consistently a top priority for voters. And tackling what is one of the biggest public health threats to our health and NHS sustainability – obesity – continues to be a public priority. The evidence is clear that obesity racks up a staggering bill: at least £5bn to the NHS and tens of billions to society every year.
The Obesity Health Alliance represents hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals and public health specialists. Our message is clear: whoever forms the next government cannot afford to neglect the obesity agenda. Obesity is blighting lives, costing the NHS billions a year, jeopardising the health of future generations, and it is entirely preventable.
Whichever party takes up the reins of power in June, getting to grips with obesity must be high on the agenda and bolder steps taken to address the obesogenic environment in which our children are growing up. The public want this to happen; what’s needed is clear political will.
John Maingay Head of policy and public affairs, British Heart Foundation
Professor Parveen Kumar Board of science chair, British Medical Association
Professor John Wass Special adviser on obesity, Royal College of Physicians
Helen Dickens Head of prevention engagement, Diabetes UK
Professor Simon Capewell Vice-president for policy, Faculty of Public Health
Professor Russell Viner Officer for health promotion, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Alison Cox Director of prevention, Cancer Research UK
Malcolm Clark Coordinator, Children’s Food Campaign
Dr Modi Mwatsama Director, policy and global health, UK Health Forum
Professor Lesley Regan President, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Professor Graham MacGregor Chairman, Action on Sugar
Andrew Furber President, Association of Directors of Public Health
Dr Liam Brennan President, Royal College of Anaesthetists
Robin Ireland Director of research, Food Active
Professor Pinki Sahota Chair, Association for the Study of Obesity
Dr Thom Phillips British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine
Tam Fry National Obesity Forum
Aisling Rollason Children’s Liver Disease Foundation
Shefalee Roth Caroline Walker Trust
Michael Baber Director, Health Action Campaign