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Nutrition

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 22 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many people are employed by her Department to work on strategies designed to encourage underweight people to eat more; (127843)

(2) how many people are employed by her Department to work on strategies designed to encourage obese people to eat less.

Government advice for maintaining a healthy weight is for people to consume a healthy balanced diet and be physically active. The Department’s nutrition and obesity teams, working with the Food Standards Agency and other Government Departments, has a series of initiatives to encourage and support people to eat a diet that is high in fruit and vegetables and lower in saturated fat, salt and sugar.

Obesity is a complex, multi-factorial problem that cannot be attributed to any single factor; it is the imbalance between calories in and calories out. The obesity public service agreement target is jointly owned by three Government Departments covering health, education and sport in recognition that delivery will depend on a concerted, joined-up effort across Government and other key stakeholders.