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Volume 448: debated on Thursday 29 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action her Department (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to (i) assist people who are obese and (ii) encourage people to take action to reduce obesity; and if she will make a statement. (69141)

The “Choosing Health” White paper, published in November 2004, committed the Government to a range of actions aimed at tackling obesity. Key components of our strategy to encourage people to choose a better diet include the introduction of front of pack labelling on processed foods and restricting promotion of foods high in fat, salt and sugar to children. Work is underway to increase levels of physical activity, particularly in schools through the school sports strategy, and the setting up of sports partnerships. The Department is currently working with stakeholders to develop a national obesity awareness campaign for launch in early 2007.

To assist people who are obese, general practitioners were sent an obesity care pathway and weight loss guide at the beginning of May. The care pathway is an interim measure pending publication of National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance on the prevention and treatment of obesity which is due before the end of the year.