When London was awarded the 2012 Games, the national government charged into the War on Obesity and promised it would encourage 2 million more Brits to become physically active by the time the Olympic torch is lit.
At that time, their plans included:
- Inspiring a million more people to play sport three or more times a week.
- Motivating an additional million people to engage in more general physical activity, such as decorating and gardening.
With fewer than 500 days to go, hitting these targets looks highly unlikely.
Especially when we consider that the 2010 coalition government:
- Quietly dropped the “general physical activity” program shortly after coming into power, and
- Has just announced that it is abandoning the “play more sport” program due to it’s lack of success.
And just how unsuccessful were these programs?
According to national exercise surveys, only about 127,000 more people have become more physically active since 2007.
127,000 is a long way from 2,000,000.
Maybe it was a good idea to cancel these programs.
Why continue to throw good money after bad?
Especially when you can actually make money by contracting out the funding of your national healthy living campaigns to a group of international junk food producers in return for a promise to not slap any taxes on fatty, sugary, salty, processed food.
Or how about encouraging Brits to get a prescription for a “miracle weight loss pill” that was suspended by the NHS only a year ago because it’s use results in an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Cancelling ineffective government programs I understand.
Selling out the health of the nation to junk food manufacturers & Big Pharma, I don’t understand.
I personally know of small, grassroots weight loss/ healthy lifestyle programs that are highly effective.
Imagine what would happen if a fiscally responsible government was to reward these programs with a tax break in return for helping to slash healthcare expeditures.
Not paying for promises – only paying for results.