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
Active IQ
Active IQ
Active IQ
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
The government needs to urgently set out its plans to support physical activity and fitness ...
Latest News
Glofox will begin offering health clubs, gyms and fitness studios instant access to financing, following ...
Latest News
Hong Kong-based Bricks Group has revealed plans to launch its health club chain, U Time, ...
Latest News
A £30m luxury leisure development scheme which has been more than a decade in the ...
Latest News
Apple has previewed its much-awaited watchOS 8, the operating system for its Apple Watch. The ...
Latest News
Chinese health club chain Supermonkey has finalised a series E funding round, valuing the company ...
Latest News
Gymbox has signed a partnership agreement to provide members of flexible workspace provider WeWork with ...
Latest News
The number of health club members returning to gyms since lockdown has beaten all expectations, ...
HCM Magazine
Insight
Research with a mid-market chain showed that after seven months members were spending up to an additional 50% of their monthly fee on secondary spend within the club
HCM Magazine
HCM People
We see a world where every major city has access to Solo 60
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
HCM Magazine
Profile
Kath Hudson talks to the thought-leader and trailblazer
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Come join the party!
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Daniel Jones is the brains behind Orbit4, the world’s first digital ecosystem to manage and facilitate the entire commercial fitness product cycle. We caught up with him at Orbit4 HQ in Cheshire
HCM Magazine
Write to reply
"Prescribing exercise will always be preferential to prescribing painkillers, given the risks associated with their long-term use"
HCM Magazine
HCM magazine
CV kit has been fully connective for some time, but with the rise of the hybrid gym goer, what are strength suppliers doing to meet the demand for a fully connected offer?
HCM magazine
We’ve developed a property portfolio with a value in excess of £500m, as well as establishing award-winning management platforms across the student, hotel, gym and living sectors
HCM magazine
The industry can be the catalyst for recovery from the pandemic, as well as addressing many of the underlying issues which enabled COVID-19 to wreak such havoc
Opinion
promotion
While much of the fitness industry has reopened its doors across the UK over the past weeks, many members are yet to return.
Opinion: Re-engaging your post-lockdown absent members
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Active IQ launches two industry-ready health and fitness diplomas
Active IQ has launched two new qualifications – the Level 2 Diploma in Health and Fitness and Level 3 Diploma in Health and Fitness – to help engage learners in an industry-ready training experience that can be tailored to suit local employer needs.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: First digital ecosystem for fitness equipment is launched after £300,000 funding boost
Orbit4 is the first digital ecosystem that manages and facilitates the entire commercial fitness product cycle.
Featured operators news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active bolsters Everyone on Demand and enters second year with five new partnerships
Everyone Active has signed a number of new deals which will see the operator strengthen its digital product offering, Everyone on Demand.
Featured operators news
Featured operator news: Being active helps Parkwood Leisure customers save the NHS £16m
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading public leisure facilities operators, helped prevent more than 7,000 cases of stroke, dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes in 2019, saving the NHS £16 million, a new social value report has shown.
Company profiles
Company profile: énergie Fitness
énergie helps franchisees to build a gym business with a potential value of £0.5m to ...
Company profiles
Company profile: ServiceSport (UK) Ltd
ServiceSport (UK) Ltd specialises in maintaining, servicing and re-manufacturing all brands of cardiovascular and resistance ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Funxtion
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Fitness equipment
Precor: Fitness equipment
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
13-14 Jun 2021
Online,
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
28-29 Sep 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
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

The government needs to urgently set out its plans to support physical activity and fitness
Glofox will begin offering health clubs, gyms and fitness studios instant access to financing, following
Hong Kong-based Bricks Group has revealed plans to launch its health club chain, U Time,
A £30m luxury leisure development scheme which has been more than a decade in the
Apple has previewed its much-awaited watchOS 8, the operating system for its Apple Watch. The
Chinese health club chain Supermonkey has finalised a series E funding round, valuing the company
fibodo Limited
fibodo Limited
Orbit4 is the first digital ecosystem that manages and facilitates the entire commercial fitness product
Gymbox has signed a partnership agreement to provide members of flexible workspace provider WeWork with
The number of health club members returning to gyms since lockdown has beaten all expectations,
The Jumeirah Group has reopened the 186-room The Carlton Tower Jumeirah, in the heart of
David Lloyd Clubs has enrolled former Labour Party deputy leader Tom Watson to help raise
TRIB3 has secured a franchise deal which will see it open 20 studios across Belgium,
ukactive has published new data from the National ReferAll Database (NRD) – the UK’s first
FIBO Exhibition
FIBO Exhibition
Active IQ has launched two new qualifications – the Level 2 Diploma in Health and
The US fitness industry is mobilising to support the Gym Mitigation and Survival (GYMs) Act,
Physical activity gives structure and meaning to people’s lives, according to new research. A study,
TRIB3 has opened a major new corporately owned boutique gym [or store in TRIBE3-speak] in
The Gym Group has outperformed all of its own expectations in the six weeks of
Irish health club chain West Wood Club is launching a new outdoor exercise concept at
Vegetables are more important than fruit in a healthy diet, according to new research from
Miha Bodytec GmbH
Miha Bodytec GmbH
L&R Kältetechnik has launched a new division, named artofcryo.com, after 30 years’ experience with -110
The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a webinar series to explore the future of
There were more than one million admissions made to NHS hospitals during 2019-20, where obesity
JP Lennard
JP Lennard
1 - 20 of 11,913
HCM Magazine
Insight
Research with a mid-market chain showed that after seven months members were spending up to an additional 50% of their monthly fee on secondary spend within the club
HCM Magazine
HCM People
We see a world where every major city has access to Solo 60
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
HCM Magazine
Profile
Kath Hudson talks to the thought-leader and trailblazer
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Come join the party!
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Daniel Jones is the brains behind Orbit4, the world’s first digital ecosystem to manage and facilitate the entire commercial fitness product cycle. We caught up with him at Orbit4 HQ in Cheshire
HCM Magazine
Write to reply
"Prescribing exercise will always be preferential to prescribing painkillers, given the risks associated with their long-term use"
HCM Magazine
HCM magazine
CV kit has been fully connective for some time, but with the rise of the hybrid gym goer, what are strength suppliers doing to meet the demand for a fully connected offer?
HCM magazine
We’ve developed a property portfolio with a value in excess of £500m, as well as establishing award-winning management platforms across the student, hotel, gym and living sectors
HCM magazine
The industry can be the catalyst for recovery from the pandemic, as well as addressing many of the underlying issues which enabled COVID-19 to wreak such havoc
HCM magazine
Moving Communities is our chance to demonstrate our value and develop a universal service for all, argues Martyn Allison
HCM magazine
As our sector starts to recover, there will be changes in the needs of communities, consumers and the provision of opportunities. To explore this subject we hosted a virtual round table to better understand views on key workforce questions
HCM magazine
Choosing the right flooring is critical for gym and health club operators. Suppliers share their latest news, tips and product launches to help you choose wisely
HCM magazine
Physical activity gives structure and meaning to people’s lives, according to new research
HCM magazine
HCM people

Andy McGlynn

Founder, GSquared
Once we grow beyond Manchester we’ll go head to head with Equinox and Third Space
HCM magazine
Consumer research has shown a population-wide surge in interest in reducing lockdown weight gain and getting fitter. Is the industry ready and willing to put its hand up to help people with weight loss? Kath Hudson reports
HCM magazine
Opinion
promotion
While much of the fitness industry has reopened its doors across the UK over the past weeks, many members are yet to return.
Opinion: Re-engaging your post-lockdown absent members
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Active IQ launches two industry-ready health and fitness diplomas
Active IQ has launched two new qualifications – the Level 2 Diploma in Health and Fitness and Level 3 Diploma in Health and Fitness – to help engage learners in an industry-ready training experience that can be tailored to suit local employer needs.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: First digital ecosystem for fitness equipment is launched after £300,000 funding boost
Orbit4 is the first digital ecosystem that manages and facilitates the entire commercial fitness product cycle.
Featured operators news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active bolsters Everyone on Demand and enters second year with five new partnerships
Everyone Active has signed a number of new deals which will see the operator strengthen its digital product offering, Everyone on Demand.
Featured operators news
Featured operator news: Being active helps Parkwood Leisure customers save the NHS £16m
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading public leisure facilities operators, helped prevent more than 7,000 cases of stroke, dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes in 2019, saving the NHS £16 million, a new social value report has shown.
Company profiles
Company profile: énergie Fitness
énergie helps franchisees to build a gym business with a potential value of £0.5m to ...
Company profiles
Company profile: ServiceSport (UK) Ltd
ServiceSport (UK) Ltd specialises in maintaining, servicing and re-manufacturing all brands of cardiovascular and resistance ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Funxtion
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Fitness equipment
Precor: Fitness equipment
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
13-14 Jun 2021
Online,
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
28-29 Sep 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
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:
Active IQ
Active IQ