Oct 13 2011

Action on obesity - MEND responds

Harry MacMillan, Chief Executive of MEND, an organisation that provides prevention and treatment programmes for overweight children and adults across the UK, responds to Healthy Lives, Healthy People: A call to action on obesity in England.  He says:

"Through working with overweight and obese families in local communities across the UK, we know the effect poor nutrition and a lack of physical exercise is having on our nation.  With obesity-induced illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and some types of cancer currently costing the NHS £5.1bn, the financial and human pain caused by obesity has never been clearer.

"With obesity becoming the 'norm' it's now harder for people to know if they are overweight, so we welcome the move to encourage local NHS staff to talk to families about their weight and sign-post them to support within their local community, such as MEND programmes.

"We welcome the government’s acknowledgement of the need for evidence-based treatments for the majority of the population who are already overweight and obese while also focussing on prevention.  

"We look forward to working with local government who are well placed to develop local strategies, commission evidence-based partners across sectors and deliver joined up solutions in their communities to support children and adults to live fitter, healthier and happier lives.

“However, while we welcome the specific targets around reducing calories and the focus on payment by outcomes, it’s concerning that this same clarity and rigour has not been applied to the rather woolly overarching ‘ambitions’ which fail to clearly outline by what percentage the government plans to reduce overweight and obesity.

“We are also concerned about the lack of detail provided in the report about how the PCT-dominated structure will transition to the future world of ring-fenced public health funds being disbursed by local government.”


Notes to editor

For media enquiries please contact Lucy Hannagan on 020 7231 7225 or lucy.hannagan@mendcentral.org.  For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07872 506996.

About MEND

·         MEND empowers children and adults to become fitter, healthier and happier and to reach and maintain a healthier weight.

·         Working closely with our public, private, third sector and academic partners, we:

o    are the leading provider of healthy lifestyle programmes for families in local communities

o    offer fitness and weight management programmes for adults in leisure settings

o    develop innovative ways to improve public health and encourage healthier lifestyles, using our extensive research.

·         Since being founded in 2004, MEND has helped over 50,000 children and adults across the world to live fitter, healthier and happier lives.

·         www.mendcentral.org




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