Thank you for writing to me about the Government’s strategy on obesity. I have read your email carefully and noted the key points that you raise.
The NHS Long Term Plan (LTP) contains new measures to improve wellbeing, underpinned by a focus on prevention rather than cure. Obesity and poor diet are linked with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and increased risk of respiratory, musculoskeletal and liver diseases. As a result, the NHS has committed to double the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme over the next five years. In addition, nutrition training, and an understanding of what is involved in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, will have a much greater place in training for medical professionals, empowering doctors to help patients manage their diet and weight.
The LTP will also help more than 2.5 million people to benefit from social prescribing, a personal health budget, and new support for managing their own health in partnership with patients’ groups and the voluntary sector. This is part of a wider move to increase support for people to manage their own health, through what the King’s Fund has called a ‘shared responsibility for health’.
For more information please see: https://www.longtermplan.nhs.uk/
The Government has announced a new Obesity Strategy, with proposals which will empower people to make the healthier choices they want to make, as well as giving the full support of the NHS to people who are overweight and want to lose weight. This is in line with the broader aim to shift healthcare to focus more on public health and prevention, including ongoing work on the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. Measures in the strategy include restriction on promotional deals and advertising, a new 'Better Health' campaign led by Public Health England, and displaying calories on menus to help people make healthier choices when eating out.
I agree that it is important that the experience of people with eating disorders is considered against plans to tackle the problems of obesity. That is why I welcome that the NHS is on track to deliver the new waiting time standards for eating disorder services by the end of 2020/21. Four fifths of children and young people with an eating disorder now receive treatment within one week in urgent cases and four weeks for non-urgent cases. As need continues to rise, extra investment will allow the NHS to maintain delivery of the 95 per cent standard beyond 2020/21. I will continue to monitor this issue closely.
Thank you again for writing to me.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking