GET HCM
magazine
Sign up for the FREE digital edition of HCM magazine and also get the HCM ezine and breaking news email alerts.
Not right now, thanksclose this window
Les Mills
Les Mills
Les Mills
Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn Follow Health Club Management on Instagram
UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

689 weak policies by successive governments blamed for failure to tackle UK's obesity crisis.

The failure to tackle the UK's obesity crisis is down to successive governments being guilty of weak policy design, lack of effectiveness and botched implementation.

That is the message of a hard-hitting report – published this week – which studied 14 government obesity strategies published from 1992 to 2020, containing a total of 689 wide‐ranging policies.

According to the study, the approach taken by governments to their own policies has "destined them to fail", as there has been a reliance on attempting to influence individuals to change their behaviours – rather than changing unhealthy environments.

There has also been a reluctance to learn from any previous failures – or very rare successes.

The study – conducted by a team at the University of Cambridge and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) – doesn't pull any punches: "Our study has provided new evidence that in almost 30 years, the UK government has proposed 689 wide‐ranging policies to tackle obesity in England but has not yet successfully and consistently reduced obesity prevalence or health inequities," say the report's authors – Dolly Theis and Martin White.

"Only one of the 14 government strategies commissioned an independent evaluation of previous government strategies for obesity, which suggests a significant deficit of government policy learning and may explain why similar or identical policies are put forward multiple times over many years.

"Many of these policies were set out in a way that does not readily lead to implementation, and the largest proportion of policies did not fulfill any of the implementation viability criteria.

"Overall, governments have adopted less interventionist policy approaches, although this has changed in recent years.

"The policies have relied on a 'high agency' design that relies on individuals to make behaviour changes, rather than shaping external influences such as the environment or economy and are thus less likely to be effective or reduce health inequities.

"We found that a wide range of inadequacies related to government obesity policies are likely to explain why governments have repeatedly failed to reduce the inequalities in, and the prevalence of, obesity.

"To increase the likelihood of policies being implemented, governments should accompany policy proposals with information ensuring they can readily lead to implementation, such as a clearly identified responsible agent, evaluation plan, and time frame.

"To increase the likelihood of effectiveness and equitability, governments should increasingly focus obesity strategies on 'low agency' population intervention policies that more comprehensively address the most powerful levers for system change."

Liz Terry, editor of HCM said: "COVID-19 preys on people with excess body fat and yet the government is failing to develop policies to address this or to sufficiently engage sectors – such as the health and fitness industry – which could be driving successful interventions.

"This is a hard thing to say, but as a society, the UK is at the eye of a perfect storm when it comes to the obesity challenge. Firstly, we are failing to teach children self-care, so they know how to eat well, exercise and lead a balanced life; secondly, society judges people who are overweight, creating a complex emotional and social minefield that needs to be unravelled before we can enable behaviour change and thirdly, we've cultivated a culture of dependency on the NHS, whereby too many people think they can live any way they choose without consequence and the NHS will fix them for free when it all goes wrong.

"As a society, we imbue the NHS with seemingly magical properties and view it as a huge comfort blanket that negates personal responsibility. It can indeed perform miracles, but testing it beyond its limit each day is not wise or sustainable.

"Over 75 per cent of all disease is lifestyle-related and the government must really refocus on prevention – not just talk about it – engage with the industries that can help and start creating change right now. Lives are being lost with every day we delay."

• To read the full report, click here.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The failure to tackle the UK's obesity crisis is down to successive governments being guilty of weak policy design, lack of effectiveness and botched implementation.
SAR,PAC,PLY,WAT,SWM,HAF,FIT,IND,PTS,ACD,RES,PUB
2021/THUMB347027_241150_283889.jpg
Latest News
EuropeActive has joined the All Policies for a Healthy Europe (APHE) initiative, as part of ...
Latest News
Lack of exercise is a major cause of death from COVID-19, according to new research, ...
Latest News
World Leisure Organization (WLO) has opened the entry process for its International Innovation Prize. Now ...
Latest News
Health clubs, leisure centres and studios in England have opened today (12 April) for the ...
Latest News
A major new initiative will look to strengthen and unite the fitness industry's voice in ...
Latest News
A parliamentary report is calling for a £3bn intervention fund to build back better health ...
Latest News
Leisure centre operator Everyone Active has formed a partnership with WW (formerly called Weight Watchers), ...
Latest News
Adults suffering from chronic pain should be advised to take exercise, rather than be prescribed ...
HCM Magazine
HCM People
Find ways to come together and flourish. Even when you’re a group of competitors, you can make it work for everyone when you all listen with respect
HCM Magazine
Ask an expert
In spite of having met all government-agreed, COVID-secure operating standards, group exercise has had a rough ride during the pandemic, being closed more than gyms. HCM asks why this is and what can be done about it
HCM Magazine
Research
Children with better cardiorespiratory health than their peers also do better on cognitive tests and other measures of brain function, according to new research
HCM Magazine
Promotion
Goji’s virus-killing air purification system is the future of air purification for gyms, says Greg Whyte
HCM Magazine
Management
Katie Lewis and Lindsey Simpson co-founded Workplace Mental Wealth to drive workforce change in the health and fitness industry. Liz Terry talks to Lewis about their first research study – the Fitness and Active Leisure Workforce State of Mind Survey – and the launch of The Good Work Pledge
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Denbighshire Leisure is creating a range of new and unforgettable member experiences. MD, Jamie Groves, explains how a partnership with Technogym and Alliance Leisure has led to the creation of a raft of new offerings
HCM Magazine
Wellness
The team manager of Mahindra Racing talks to Kate Cracknell about creating a new corporate culture in a competitive world – one that places employee wellbeing first
HCM Magazine
HCM magazine
As health clubs around the world start reopening, controlling COVID-19 – while also delivering a great service to customers – must be an obsession for everyone in the sector
HCM magazine
We want to build centralised places for wellness and have the benefit of all the brands coming together
HCM magazine
New tax laws will hit the UK fitness sector in early April, changing the way freelance PTs are legally classified for income tax and national insurance, as Abi Harris reports
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Red Light Rising teams up with ITRM Clinic to supply red light therapy for injured athletes
Red light therapy equipment supplier, Red Light Rising, has partnered with Aidan Robinson of ITRM Clinic in the UK
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Precor supports Aneurin Leisure Trust in three-site refurbishment
Welsh leisure trust, Aneurin Leisure (ALT), has announced it’s forging ahead with a £600,000 (US$821,000, €696,000) gym refurbishment in all three of its leisure centres.
Company profiles
Company profile: Technogym
Founded in 1983, Technogym is a world-leading international supplier of technology and design-driven products and ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Octane Fitness
A global innovator of high-performance fitness equipment, Octane Fitness, a Nautilus, Inc. brand, continually redefines ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Venueserve Fitness
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Property & Tenders
Hillingdon
Hillingdon Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
12 Jun 2021
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
13-14 Jun 2021
Online,
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-04 Jul 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2021
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates

News

689 weak policies by successive governments blamed for failure to tackle UK's obesity crisis.

The failure to tackle the UK's obesity crisis is down to successive governments being guilty of weak policy design, lack of effectiveness and botched implementation.

That is the message of a hard-hitting report – published this week – which studied 14 government obesity strategies published from 1992 to 2020, containing a total of 689 wide‐ranging policies.

According to the study, the approach taken by governments to their own policies has "destined them to fail", as there has been a reliance on attempting to influence individuals to change their behaviours – rather than changing unhealthy environments.

There has also been a reluctance to learn from any previous failures – or very rare successes.

The study – conducted by a team at the University of Cambridge and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) – doesn't pull any punches: "Our study has provided new evidence that in almost 30 years, the UK government has proposed 689 wide‐ranging policies to tackle obesity in England but has not yet successfully and consistently reduced obesity prevalence or health inequities," say the report's authors – Dolly Theis and Martin White.

"Only one of the 14 government strategies commissioned an independent evaluation of previous government strategies for obesity, which suggests a significant deficit of government policy learning and may explain why similar or identical policies are put forward multiple times over many years.

"Many of these policies were set out in a way that does not readily lead to implementation, and the largest proportion of policies did not fulfill any of the implementation viability criteria.

"Overall, governments have adopted less interventionist policy approaches, although this has changed in recent years.

"The policies have relied on a 'high agency' design that relies on individuals to make behaviour changes, rather than shaping external influences such as the environment or economy and are thus less likely to be effective or reduce health inequities.

"We found that a wide range of inadequacies related to government obesity policies are likely to explain why governments have repeatedly failed to reduce the inequalities in, and the prevalence of, obesity.

"To increase the likelihood of policies being implemented, governments should accompany policy proposals with information ensuring they can readily lead to implementation, such as a clearly identified responsible agent, evaluation plan, and time frame.

"To increase the likelihood of effectiveness and equitability, governments should increasingly focus obesity strategies on 'low agency' population intervention policies that more comprehensively address the most powerful levers for system change."

Liz Terry, editor of HCM said: "COVID-19 preys on people with excess body fat and yet the government is failing to develop policies to address this or to sufficiently engage sectors – such as the health and fitness industry – which could be driving successful interventions.

"This is a hard thing to say, but as a society, the UK is at the eye of a perfect storm when it comes to the obesity challenge. Firstly, we are failing to teach children self-care, so they know how to eat well, exercise and lead a balanced life; secondly, society judges people who are overweight, creating a complex emotional and social minefield that needs to be unravelled before we can enable behaviour change and thirdly, we've cultivated a culture of dependency on the NHS, whereby too many people think they can live any way they choose without consequence and the NHS will fix them for free when it all goes wrong.

"As a society, we imbue the NHS with seemingly magical properties and view it as a huge comfort blanket that negates personal responsibility. It can indeed perform miracles, but testing it beyond its limit each day is not wise or sustainable.

"Over 75 per cent of all disease is lifestyle-related and the government must really refocus on prevention – not just talk about it – engage with the industries that can help and start creating change right now. Lives are being lost with every day we delay."

• To read the full report, click here.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The failure to tackle the UK's obesity crisis is down to successive governments being guilty of weak policy design, lack of effectiveness and botched implementation.
SAR,PAC,PLY,WAT,SWM,HAF,FIT,IND,PTS,ACD,RES,PUB
2021/THUMB347027_241150_283889.jpg

News

EuropeActive has joined the All Policies for a Healthy Europe (APHE) initiative, as part of
Lack of exercise is a major cause of death from COVID-19, according to new research,
World Leisure Organization (WLO) has opened the entry process for its International Innovation Prize. Now
Health clubs, leisure centres and studios in England have opened today (12 April) for the
A major new initiative will look to strengthen and unite the fitness industry's voice in
A parliamentary report is calling for a £3bn intervention fund to build back better health
Miha Bodytec GmbH
Miha Bodytec GmbH
In collaboration with ukactive, FunXtion has driven a global discussion with some of the world’s
Leisure centre operator Everyone Active has formed a partnership with WW (formerly called Weight Watchers),
Adults suffering from chronic pain should be advised to take exercise, rather than be prescribed
As health clubs and fitness studios in England are counting the hours down to reopening
Empowered Brands, the franchise investment business that acquired énergie Fitness out of a CVA in
John Treharne, founder of The Gym Group, and Jana Havrdová, president of the Czech Chamber
Questex, owner of industry buyer event, Sibec EU, has announced it will partner with FIBO
Safe Space Lockers
Safe Space Lockers
L&R Kältetechnik has launched a new division, named artofcryo.com, after 30 years’ experience with -110
Les Mills has come up with an ingenious solution to get around the pandemic travel
At-home fitness giant Peloton has officially completed the acquisition of equipment provider Precor, in a
There is growing evidence that a COVID-19 infection could trigger diabetes in some patients. One
Danish health club operator Repeat, launched in 2016 by serial fitness entrepreneur Rasmus Ingerslev, has
The UK government has launched a new Office for Health Promotion, designed to lead efforts
Rainer Schaller's RSG Group has opened a John Reed Fitness club in downtown Los Angeles
Global Wellness Summit
Global Wellness Summit
There’s nothing quite like discovering a product that creates a huge impact in our life.
Boutique fitness behemoth Xponential Fitness has added boxing studio operator Rumble to its ever-growing portfolio
A new "supergroup" of boutique fitness brands will look to help pool resources and use
FreeMotion Fitness
FreeMotion Fitness
1 - 20 of 11,849
HCM Magazine
HCM People
Find ways to come together and flourish. Even when you’re a group of competitors, you can make it work for everyone when you all listen with respect
HCM Magazine
Ask an expert
In spite of having met all government-agreed, COVID-secure operating standards, group exercise has had a rough ride during the pandemic, being closed more than gyms. HCM asks why this is and what can be done about it
HCM Magazine
Research
Children with better cardiorespiratory health than their peers also do better on cognitive tests and other measures of brain function, according to new research
HCM Magazine
Promotion
Goji’s virus-killing air purification system is the future of air purification for gyms, says Greg Whyte
HCM Magazine
Management
Katie Lewis and Lindsey Simpson co-founded Workplace Mental Wealth to drive workforce change in the health and fitness industry. Liz Terry talks to Lewis about their first research study – the Fitness and Active Leisure Workforce State of Mind Survey – and the launch of The Good Work Pledge
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Denbighshire Leisure is creating a range of new and unforgettable member experiences. MD, Jamie Groves, explains how a partnership with Technogym and Alliance Leisure has led to the creation of a raft of new offerings
HCM Magazine
Wellness
The team manager of Mahindra Racing talks to Kate Cracknell about creating a new corporate culture in a competitive world – one that places employee wellbeing first
HCM Magazine
HCM magazine
As health clubs around the world start reopening, controlling COVID-19 – while also delivering a great service to customers – must be an obsession for everyone in the sector
HCM magazine
We want to build centralised places for wellness and have the benefit of all the brands coming together
HCM magazine
New tax laws will hit the UK fitness sector in early April, changing the way freelance PTs are legally classified for income tax and national insurance, as Abi Harris reports
HCM magazine
Changing rooms have been largely closed during the pandemic, but as clubs open up, how will ongoing pandemic restrictions impact changing room design? We ask the experts for their observations and reflections
HCM magazine
One of the best aspects of Studio Three is our loyal membership community. Our team has really come to know our members and where they are in their wellness journey
HCM magazine
Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – [email protected]
HCM magazine
Policing the rules, even if it means losing members, will be crucial to building trust as health clubs reopen, Paul Roberts tells Kath Hudson
HCM magazine
How will digital, gyms and live fitness mesh to create a new customer offering in health clubs? Phillip Mills, executive director of Les Mills, shares his views
HCM magazine
Hussle’s new Membership Conversion Service proactively turns Hussle customers into direct club members, encouraging them to join clubs they attend regularly
HCM magazine
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Red Light Rising teams up with ITRM Clinic to supply red light therapy for injured athletes
Red light therapy equipment supplier, Red Light Rising, has partnered with Aidan Robinson of ITRM Clinic in the UK
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Precor supports Aneurin Leisure Trust in three-site refurbishment
Welsh leisure trust, Aneurin Leisure (ALT), has announced it’s forging ahead with a £600,000 (US$821,000, €696,000) gym refurbishment in all three of its leisure centres.
Company profiles
Company profile: Technogym
Founded in 1983, Technogym is a world-leading international supplier of technology and design-driven products and ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Octane Fitness
A global innovator of high-performance fitness equipment, Octane Fitness, a Nautilus, Inc. brand, continually redefines ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Venueserve Fitness
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Property & Tenders
Hillingdon
Hillingdon Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
12 Jun 2021
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
13-14 Jun 2021
Online,
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-04 Jul 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2021
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
Les Mills
Les Mills