Tim Spector: improve education to tackle obesity

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The UK government recently announced a number of new measures to try and tackle the growing obesity crisis, and the health inequalities that result from it, with their national food strategy. Writing in the Guardian Tim Spector suggests that, while a good start, it is the equivalent of sticking a plaster over a severed limb and more should be done to promote nutrition education.

Discussing the scale of the problem Tim Spector writes, “We are already the fattest nation in western Europe. Using data from the 4 million users of the Covid Symptom Study app, which I helped set up, UK citizens on average put on almost another kilo in the three months after lockdown started in March. We also have the worst diets, eat proportionally the most ultra-processed food and snack more than any other European nation.”

“Junk food is bad for us – especially when labelled misleadingly as “low fat, low carb, low sugar”. Diets containing high levels of ultra-processed foods have now been shown in clinical trials to increase hunger and the amount people eat. They also lead to a lack of diversity of gut microbes and poor gut health, which causes yet more metabolic problems.”

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