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Business strategies to combat obesity

Andrew Lansley The government will soon abolish the food Standards Agency (FSA) while Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, will confirm the consumer watchdog is being fragmented when he sets out plans to renovate NHS. The FSA has
2,000 staff and an annual budget of £135m and its duties will be transferred to the Department for Health and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The health secretary plans a new deal with the food industry where beer companies, confectionery firms and crisp-makers will finance official government advertising campaigns to persuade people to eat healthier food. Doctors are also likely to disagree as they have called for "fat taxes" on unhealthy food. The NHS reform plans will be set out in a White Paper and Mr. Lansley said they would cut the cost of NHS bureaucracy by £1bn.

Alison Giles, the Chief executive of “Our Life” comments that it is no surprise that the government is looking to blame EU rules for not acting against food industry interests in the battle against obesity.

Glenis Willmott, labour's leader in the European parliament explains that Andrew Lansley's message of finding solutions to lifestyle-related diseases is a collaborative effort between the public, private and civil society sectors, and individuals. The commercial sector needs to change their business practices, including how they promote their brands to reverse the trends in obesity.

Graham Baxter, Acting CEO in International Business Leaders Forum criticizes as to how Andrew Lansley can seriously think that companies which make profits from selling products contribute to his proposal will support real efforts to improve diets. There are ways (including social marketing) to achieve changes in behaviour, but this requires action from the government and this alone cannot be left to the food industry.

Dr Stephen Battersby, President of Chartered Institute of Environmental Health is so appalled that Andrew Lansley should be stupidly short-sighted and blinkered for neglecting his mails and he is bent upon to continue writing to the secretary until he apologizes and revises his views.