British government declares war on obesity

The British government launched a campaign on Monday to help citizens lose weight. Among other measures, advertising for high-fat and sugary food on television and the Internet will be banned before 9 pm. Covid-19 is another factor behind the Better Health campaign, as people who are overweight are often worse affected. But the package of measures is still controversial.

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The Guardian (GB) /

Chemically enhanced foods are the real problem

The government should not just focus on foods that are high in calories, The Guardian interjects:

“Mucking around with food has unintended consequences. The extra ingredients and chemical enhancers that make food tastier have none of the nutritional value found in normal food groups. These additives are directed at 'bliss points', the manufacturing name given to the amount of sugar, salt and fat that optimises flavour in a product. Nutrient low and additive rich, these foods encourage us to override our natural sense of when we’re full, manipulating our appetites and leading us to eat more.”

Irish Independent (IE) /

Don't shame obese people

The government's planned measures don't do justice to the problem, the Irish Independent argues:

“To suggest that obesity can be tackled with a one-size-fits-all approach and a happy-clappy national effort is like asking an anxiety sufferer if they've tried exercise or suggesting that a binge drinker has a glass of water between drinks. It fails to recognise the complexity of the issue, it's insulting to the people who have tried and failed to lose weight for years and, considering the context and timing of this particular health drive, it heaps shame on people who are already struggling.”