The need for courageous action to prevent obesity
This chapter focuses on three key issues: firstly, the necessity of a shared vision; secondly, whether or not to trust the food industry; and thirdly, what should be done next. In order to move forward, a shared vision is needed of the causes of obesity and a philosophy of prevention. The strategy of trying to increase personal responsibility has not worked. Instead, the focus must be shifted to changing the environment so that it facilitates healthy eating behaviours and physical activity. The next question to be asked is: can the food instustry be trusted? In watching the behaviour of the food industry in recent years, their strategies have become apparent. The chapter describes elements of the food industry ‘playbook’ and questions the influence of the industry on the government. Finally, it recommends a number of targeted actions. Among these are making policy changes to protect children from commercialism, and creating coalitions with groups concerned about the environment and sustainability. Finally, the chapter also describes a more productive role for the food industry, and ends with example innovations that have succeeded at the local level.
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