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Tackling Obesities: The Foresight Report and Implications for Local Government

Author: Jill Aylott, Ian Brown, Rob Copeland, Dave Johnson
Organisation: Faculty of Health and Wellbeing Sheffield Hallam University
Publish Date: March 2008
Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Health
Method: Creative thinking
Theme: Food
Type: Report
Language: English
Tags: Obesity, Local government, Social policy frameworks, Inequalities, Key areas of influence

The Foresight Report argues that understanding and preventing obesity is complex. There is no example anywhere in the world where the obesity trend has been reversed. The solution to reverse the trend is more complex than just helping individuals to change their diet and to take up exercise (although this is a part of the solution). Over the last few decades, our way of life has changed significantly. We have many labour-saving devices in our home, we drive more, eat out more and have takeaways delivered to our homes as well as the chance to do our weekly shop on the internet. Food is abundantly available and presented to encourage us to have the larger-sized Mars bar at the garage forecourt or to ''buy one, get one free'. Towns have been planned around the car and large supermarket chains have replaced small family stores. Everything is ‘super-sized’. The Foresight Report argues that it is the interplay of these various factors that creates what has been termed in the report as an 'obesogenic environment'. The term is defined as: 'the total sum of influences in the environment on promoting obesity in individuals and populations'.
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