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.
Related news

Government fails to highlight exercise in new childhood obesity strategy

26 Jun 2018
The latest chapter of the government’s Childhood Obesity Plan – published this week – has ...

'Sugar Tax' comes into force – will benefit sports at schools

06 Apr 2018
The Soft Drinks Industry Levy has come into effect today (6 April), in a move ...
Latest News
PM, Boris Johnson, has confirmed that gyms, swimming pools and leisure centres in England will ...
Latest News
The re-opening of gyms in Wales has been pushed back by the country's First Minister ...
Latest News
The physical and mental health of women in the UK has been put under unprecedented ...
Latest News
Excess body fat and obesity are likely to have contributed to more deaths in England ...
Latest News
The financial performance of health club operator SATS in the last quarter of 2020 was ...
Latest News
FIBO has announced that its Chinese event next month will be held as a hybrid ...
Latest News
Placing gyms and leisure centres at the front of the queue for reopening would be ...
Latest News
Data published today (17 February) shows that for every 100,000 visits to UK gyms and ...
HCM Magazine
Editor's letter
New research from Public Health England shows that more than 70 per cent of adults want to get healthier in 2021
HCM Magazine
When Geoff Whitington started to see his life unravel as a result of diabetes, his sons Anthony and Ian gave up their jobs to help him change his lifestyle. This resulted in a new lease of life for all of them. Anthony Whitington, co-creator of BBC documentary, Fixing Dad, speaks to HCM’s Kath Hudson about the journey the family has been on, their mission to inspire others to engage with their health and the launch of new initiative, Fixing Us
HCM Magazine
HCM People
All products have been priced competitively, using Amazon as a benchmark, to ensure the shop can thrive in a competitive market
HCM Magazine
The great debate
Most of the world is dealing with some form of disruption to daily life, work life and finances, as well as navigating an uncertain world. Even those who enjoy robust mental health are finding themselves suffering from stress, anxiety, low mood and insomnia. What can the health and fitness industry do to help? Kath Hudson reports
HCM Magazine
Interview
The duo have joined forces to launch a free virtual ‘couch to exercise’ programme called RISE. They talk to HCM about what they’ve learned from collaborating on Sport Relief and how they’re using this knowledge to deliver the new not-for-profit
HCM Magazine
Profile
Fitler Club is Philadelphia’s newest private lifestyle club, boasting premium health and wellness facilities, along with a hotel, workspaces and refined culinary venues. Steph Eaves talks to the club’s founder about his creation
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Welcome to the world of creative fitness, where exercise and fun merge to change the way we train
HCM Magazine
HCM magazine
HCM People

Scott O’Shea

Founder, Station Mill
Coming from a personal training background, my experience has taught me that people hire the trainer before the training
HCM magazine
Resistance training is just as beneficial for women over the age of 50 as it is for men, according to a new study from the University of New South Wales
HCM magazine
More than 1,700 industry professionals from 47 different countries joined the virtual Retention Convention recently, making it one of the sector’s largest online events of the year
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: Core Health & Fitness announces partnership with Énergie Fitness Iberia
Core Health & Fitness is proud to have signed an exclusive supplier agreement for the roll- out of all projected clubs with Énergie Fitness Iberia over the next seven years.
Video Gallery
Excite Live Experience: Join the party with Technogym
Technogym
The new Excite line makes training more fun and inspiring for any age or fitness level with lots of workouts and entertainment options. Read more
More videos:
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: Incorpore Limited
Incorpore Ltd is a leading fitness and wellness company which has been successfully delivering solutions ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Member feedback software
AskNicely: Member feedback software
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Exercise equipment
Pendex Fisio S.L.: Exercise equipment
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Flooring
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
23-26 Feb 2021
IFEMA, Madrid, Spain
Diary dates
03-04 Mar 2021
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
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
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, 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.
Related news

Government fails to highlight exercise in new childhood obesity strategy

26 Jun 2018
The latest chapter of the government’s Childhood Obesity Plan – published this week – has ...

'Sugar Tax' comes into force – will benefit sports at schools

06 Apr 2018
The Soft Drinks Industry Levy has come into effect today (6 April), in a move ...

News

PM, Boris Johnson, has confirmed that gyms, swimming pools and leisure centres in England will
The re-opening of gyms in Wales has been pushed back by the country's First Minister
The physical and mental health of women in the UK has been put under unprecedented
Excess body fat and obesity are likely to have contributed to more deaths in England
The financial performance of health club operator SATS in the last quarter of 2020 was
FIBO has announced that its Chinese event next month will be held as a hybrid
fibodo Limited
fibodo Limited
L&R Kältetechnik has launched a new division, named artofcryo.com, after 30 years’ experience with -110
Placing gyms and leisure centres at the front of the queue for reopening would be
Data published today (17 February) shows that for every 100,000 visits to UK gyms and
People aged 40 living with Type 2 diabetes face a "disproportionately increased risk of dying
Barbara den Bak, Tom Moos, and Clare Stobart have been announced as speakers for ukactive's
PureGym expects lockdowns to last "until at least 31 March" – and that it will
Construction work has been completed on the £29m Sports Park project in Colchester. The new
MyZone Group Ltd
MyZone Group Ltd
Pulse Fitness has recently completed a refurbishment of the fitness facilities at iGym London. Using
Spanish capital Madrid has been hailed as an example of a city which understands the
ukactive has published six 'policy calls', which it says are crucial in order to help
An area north of Sheffield City Centre in the UK is to be designed as
Europe’s largest fitness chain, Basic-Fit, has secured a €150m bridge facility, which it says will
The Cabinet Office has chosen leisure operator GLL as the "face" of England's COVID-secure physical
Virgin Active investors are understood to be preparing a £60m+ funding injection into the fitness
Safe Space Lockers
Safe Space Lockers
The world has had to get used to social distancing in 2020 and any business
A Parliamentary Petition calling for gyms to reopen first after the current national lockdown in
New Forest District Council in the UK has chosen leisure trust Freedom Leisure as its
Miha Bodytec GmbH
Miha Bodytec GmbH
1 - 20 of 11,790
HCM Magazine
Editor's letter
New research from Public Health England shows that more than 70 per cent of adults want to get healthier in 2021
HCM Magazine
When Geoff Whitington started to see his life unravel as a result of diabetes, his sons Anthony and Ian gave up their jobs to help him change his lifestyle. This resulted in a new lease of life for all of them. Anthony Whitington, co-creator of BBC documentary, Fixing Dad, speaks to HCM’s Kath Hudson about the journey the family has been on, their mission to inspire others to engage with their health and the launch of new initiative, Fixing Us
HCM Magazine
HCM People
All products have been priced competitively, using Amazon as a benchmark, to ensure the shop can thrive in a competitive market
HCM Magazine
The great debate
Most of the world is dealing with some form of disruption to daily life, work life and finances, as well as navigating an uncertain world. Even those who enjoy robust mental health are finding themselves suffering from stress, anxiety, low mood and insomnia. What can the health and fitness industry do to help? Kath Hudson reports
HCM Magazine
Interview
The duo have joined forces to launch a free virtual ‘couch to exercise’ programme called RISE. They talk to HCM about what they’ve learned from collaborating on Sport Relief and how they’re using this knowledge to deliver the new not-for-profit
HCM Magazine
Profile
Fitler Club is Philadelphia’s newest private lifestyle club, boasting premium health and wellness facilities, along with a hotel, workspaces and refined culinary venues. Steph Eaves talks to the club’s founder about his creation
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Welcome to the world of creative fitness, where exercise and fun merge to change the way we train
HCM Magazine
HCM magazine
HCM People

Scott O’Shea

Founder, Station Mill
Coming from a personal training background, my experience has taught me that people hire the trainer before the training
HCM magazine
Resistance training is just as beneficial for women over the age of 50 as it is for men, according to a new study from the University of New South Wales
HCM magazine
More than 1,700 industry professionals from 47 different countries joined the virtual Retention Convention recently, making it one of the sector’s largest online events of the year
HCM magazine
Venueserve Fitness is working with the Health Club Collection to drive its digital customer engagement
HCM magazine
Muir Gray has a vision for a world where exercise professionals help people live longer, better lives into old age
HCM magazine
It speaks volumes that the very first time we went for Investors in People, we came out with a gold rating. Our culture is very important to us
HCM magazine
Third Space members embrace new digital app, viewing 75,000 workouts in just three months
HCM magazine
Tracking consumers’ sentiment in relation to lockdowns gives valuable insights into members’ priorities. Leisure-net surveyed the first two UK lockdowns and is currently working on the third. Dave Monkhouse reports on results from the lockdown 2 survey
HCM magazine
Stephen Tharrett, co-founder, ClubIntel
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: Core Health & Fitness announces partnership with Énergie Fitness Iberia
Core Health & Fitness is proud to have signed an exclusive supplier agreement for the roll- out of all projected clubs with Énergie Fitness Iberia over the next seven years.
Video Gallery
Excite Live Experience: Join the party with Technogym
Technogym
The new Excite line makes training more fun and inspiring for any age or fitness level with lots of workouts and entertainment options. Read more
More videos:
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: Incorpore Limited
Incorpore Ltd is a leading fitness and wellness company which has been successfully delivering solutions ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Member feedback software
AskNicely: Member feedback software
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Exercise equipment
Pendex Fisio S.L.: Exercise equipment
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Flooring
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
23-26 Feb 2021
IFEMA, Madrid, Spain
Diary dates
03-04 Mar 2021
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
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
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
Les Mills
Les Mills