“With two thirds of the UK overweight or obese, I think it’s worth us marking today, as World Obesity Day – not least because some idiot politician or campaigner will be blaming people for their conditions. Will be telling them that they’ve got to take personal responsibility. That they’re in some way deficient because they’re overweight, that they have to work harder to get thin.
“Well, what I want to say on World Obesity Day is we should stop labelling people. When you go to the supermarket and you look at all those products, you might look at the labels, but what chance have you got of knowing what you’re actually putting in yourself?
“You know there are over 50 words used to describe the sugars we put in our body. Do you think that’s not deliberate? Do you think people aren’t confused by that? Alright, you go to McDonald’s and you get your burger – or other fast food outlets – they might now tell you the calorific value of the food you’re taking but do they tell you how many carbs or what protein’s in the products? Do they tell you what oil they’re using? Are they using olive oil or are they using trans fats to cook the food? You don’t know.
“When you buy a can of beer, do you know how much sugar’s in that? No. Because the labels don’t tell you. It’s important to develop an approach to eating and exercise that works for you as an individual. And believe me, I don’t underestimate how hard that is. It starts with cutting out refined sugar and starchy carbs. It starts with trying to lead a more active life, but it doesn’t end there and you need help doing it. That’s where the government comes in, and that’s why I’ve set up a commission that asks the question – how can we halt the rise in Type 2 diabetes in the lifetime of a parliament?
“Dealing with obesity is obviously part of that and I want to hear from people who have ideas about how we can do it. My message to those politicians who are going to blame people for people overweight or obese is this: stop labelling people, and start arguing for proper labelling of the foods they put in themselves.”