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Who should be responsible for keeping us healthy?

07:59 UK time, Tuesday, 15 March 2011

More than 170 companies - including the leading supermarket chains - have signed up to the "responsibility deal" to encourage healthier lifestyles. But whose responsibility is it to promote healthy living?

The voluntary agreements for England cover four themes - physical activity, food, alcohol and health at work. Ministers said the approach would achieve more than legislation could.

They will highlight the agreement to ensure 80% of alcoholic drinks carry labels about the number of units they contain by 2013. At the moment just 15% do.

Should it be up to supermarkets to promote healthy living? Or is healthy living something we should all take responsibility for?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 10

  • Comment number 1.

    The individual should be, in short. I think calorie counts on food stuffs and units on alcohol bottles are a good idea to fully inform a erson what they're buying, but beyond that we're heading into nanny state territory.

    now, how many posts before the holier-than-thou's start their ranting ......

  • Comment number 2.

    Me.

    Mind your own damn business!

  • Comment number 3.

    I recently went on a course about Allotment Associations and one of the subjects was of course Health and Safety.

    The more I learn about the law the more I realise that as an individual I have more responsibility for the duty of care of someone else than they have towards themselves.

    The responsibility lies solely with the individual and in the case of kids that means the parents.

    Sure producers need to make sure their food meets certain guide lines and I think on those foods that contain excess fat etc should be levied with a FAT tax which is ring fenced for food related health issues.

    As the saying goes, you are what you eat.

  • Comment number 4.

    I agree with Alastair! For goodness sake, do we have to be told to do everything. The trouble with our society is simple. We know it's not good for us but we still have to be told! Who picks up the bill for all the indulgence? WE DO, the TAXPAYER, because the NHS has to bail those who have alcohol addictions and obesity out! I enjoy wine but I also drink loads of water and get lots of exercise. It would seem that ignorance rules in the UK and that is sad.

  • Comment number 5.

    Oh dear, not this debate again. We had a similar one recently and the majority of comments were totally against any interference by the " Nanny State" and to allow people to eat, drink and be merry if they so desired.
    Of course governments should encourage healthy living as this promotes a healthy society, which benefits all. But you can't force anyone to eat their five a day, drink less and exercise more.
    Could we have a debate on something else, please? So much going on at present...........

  • Comment number 6.

    We should all be responsible for our own health. That said, those who choose unhealthy lifestyles should not have their treatment covered by the NHS.

  • Comment number 7.

    Supermarkets signing up to this deal is a complete joke!

    We have strict food safety laws in this country, but supermarkets are able bypass them by growing/making food in countries without such food safety laws, then present them for sale on our shelves without any action being taken. in the meantime we pay millions for regulators, who when asked why, they allow this practice to happen, have no answer!

    factor in the carbon costs for transporting food from around the world, which makes a mockery of attempts to cut emissions.

    For example, an apple today is not the same as an apple was in the 60s, 70s or 80s.
    It is grown with chemicals to preserve its appearance, retain water, speed its growth, delay ripening.
    It is sprayed with gas waxes to preserve its skin and is refrigerated then sent to the UK.
    When it finally arrives on supermarket shelves, it is often around a year old.

    What tests have been carried out to see if these chemicals and gas waxes are setting off diseases?
    Our food laws are strict for a reason, not just to burden supermarket business with extra costs.
    food consumed in the UK should be grown and produced under the UK's food safety laws.
    shop local - eat seasonal is the only way to safeguard your health!

  • Comment number 8.

    Ultimately it is down to ME to eat and exercise for a Healthy life. As someone who has NO faith in the goodwill of any commercial enterprise I dismiss the actions of Supermarkets and the like. I do though expect that the Government will ensure that the food available for purchase is of good quality, safe and fit for purpose. I expect Government to prevent advertising, of all types, that promote 'bad' foods. I treat the schemes involving Producers and Government wiht the utter contempt that they deserve. we have seen how responsible the Alcohol Industry has been for the past 20 years in its 'reduction' of harm caused.
    It is obvious that only a 'class action' in a court will restrict the harm done by the Drinks Industry, as only court action will work against the Tobacco industry.
    In short I have NO faith in Government action, none in the Supermarkets, I know I am on my own.

  • Comment number 9.

    WE are responsible for ourselves and our children, no one else.

    Bring back domestic science at school, compulsory classes.

    Perhaps the PC society means that being extremely obese is no longer seen as being such a problem - mainly a problem for the person who has become so large - has it really done them any favours?

  • Comment number 10.

    No one is legally responsible for keeping us healthy.

    Some private companies can make money from selling health sector products but these are usually related to curing problems rather than pre-emptory.

    The NHS is paid for curing us thus has a financial incentive to keep us ill.

    In short, only we are responsible for ourselves.

  • Comment number 11.

    An individual is entirely responsible for making his or her own decisions, just as they are responsible for facing the consequences.

    We cannot live in our world without any risk at all - even walking downstairs can be dangerous. I recently broke three ribs and almost punctured my heart tripping over a bag on the floor.

    Risk is not preventable or avoidable. We will all die of something, sometime - unavoidable too.

    We are all being made so afraid by the misinformationa and half-truths we are told by various interest groups. The information about recommended daily amounts changes almost by the week so my philosophy remains to do what I want, eat what I want, drink what I want for tomorrow we may die.

    I object strongly to smoking - not because I think it's dangerous (which is probably is) but because I hate the smell. If someone else wants to smoke, that's fine by me as long as they don't expect me to share it. They may become ill and cost the nation money for their treatment, but they've more than paid for that in the huge amounts of tax they've paid over the years to the government through tobacco duty.

    When GB and TB were in charge, they Conservatives were always bleating on about the Nanny State - now it would seem they're doing exactly the same.

    I decide what's good for me, not the government or anyone else who thinks they have the right to comment about my lifestyle choices.

  • Comment number 12.

    The government should create a basic minimum framework of protection, the rest should be up to the individual.

    At present too much government money is spent nannying people.

  • Comment number 13.

    I am responsible for keeping me healthy or unhealthy as I see fit, nobody else, and certainly not the government.

    If I wish to smoke, and I do, I will, if I wish to drink x units of booze a day, I will, if I wish to stuff myself with high calorie junk food,(but I do not), I will should I change my mind.
    If I wish to take regular exercise and I do, then I will.
    I have recently had a full MOT, blood tests the works and at 64 I am functioning like a 40 year old so go away all of you.


    I wish these self righteous prigs would just shut up!

  • Comment number 14.

    I'm hoping to enjoy the benefits from my occupational pension by taking personal responsibility for my health. That responsibility is mine and mine alone. Nothing to do with a commercial enterprise, a supermarket, HMG, the taxpayer or other HYS contributors. My responsibility entails making choices, and again they are for me to make alone. I might run every day, never drink alcohol, never smoke, eat salads and get to bed early; or I might slob around, only eat fry ups, booze, and smoke twenty a day. It is for me alone to take responsibility and I owe no explanation or justification to anyone else but myself. Welcome to England.

  • Comment number 15.

    It's up to the individual to look after their own health and fitness. However, to do so effectively, the individual needs to have information available on the calorific value, fat, sugar and salt content on foodstuffs etc. Food and drink companies have always resisted clear labelling of their products.
    The food and drink industry spent €800m ensuring the EU did not adopt a clear labelling system for food, showing fat,sugar and salt content.
    you don't have to be a cynic to work out the reason why.
    The government's role should be to ensure that the individual has all the information necessary to determine the health risks and benefits of the products on the market. Also to ensure products are safe to be marketed. This requires an arms-length relationship with the food and drink industry, something which the current government has already failed to do. The idea that fast food companies should have any input into our school's nutrition education programs is risible, yet they have.

  • Comment number 16.

    It's no-one else's "responsibility". If we want to eat healthily or otherwise, it's up to us.

    Everyone knows too much sugar and salt is bad for you, while too many calories and not enough exercise will make you fat. What else is there to say? As long as the ingredients lists on a product clearly show what's in it, that's where supermarkets' "responsibility" ends. Their job is to sell us stuff, not socially engineer us.

    Too many ministers think it's their job to nanny us - and too many people encourage such overbearing behaviour by refusing to accept the blame for their own bad habits and whining about the results.

  • Comment number 17.

    Advice is fine but, ultimately, we are responsible for our own health.

  • Comment number 18.

    not any private company ,they cannot be trusted a private com0pany is only interest is makinga profit with a little outlay as possible ,like the hospital cleaning service they will do only what they can getaway with ,and fob is off with excuses

  • Comment number 19.

    I am responsible for me and i was responsible for my children, no-one else is responsible for me. I resent people interferring, we all know that alchol, smoking and unhealthy eating to excess can be bad for you and if that's what you chose to do then so be it. Any of us could get run over by a bus, been in Japan at the wrong time etc etc. The NHS is there to help all of us no matter what, if you smoke or if you drink, you still pay your taxes the same as someone who doesn't drink or smoke, they might on the other hand do a lot of motorway driving and be at the risk of an accident - using the emergency services etc - its all part of life, nobody should be telling us what to do and what not to do, we are all responsible for our actions and all of somewhere along the line will rely on others and affect others in some way beit good or bad - stop whinging and get on with life as you chose and just give a thought for everyone in Japan

  • Comment number 20.

    One hundred and seventy companies have signed up to a "responsibility deal"?

    Meaning up until now they had NO responsibility? Meaning that suddenly corporations are responsible for keeping us healthy so we do not cut into their profits with our damned unhealthy bodies and health service charges?

    Ministers said the approach would achieve more than legislation could.

    Meaning legislation is damned useless? Meaning this avoids individuals taking companies to court under a voluntary scheme?

    What sickness is it that has invaded our society to the level everybody else suddenly knows better than we, as individuals, do? What sickness is it that wishes to deprive individuals from making choices?

    Take statins, read what harm this drug's side effects (in as many a 4 to 14 in 1000 people) can do. Has society seriously gone mad in its wish to make us all healthier? We all have to die sometime and the idea is to enjoy life before it happens.

  • Comment number 21.

    Me, I know myself what is healthy and what is not. I do not always choose the healthy option and I am not going to blame anyone else if I gain a size.
    Everyone knows where the fruit and veg racks are in Tesco, you know where the meat counter is - and there are plenty of healthy recipe sites online that tell you which ones are healthy - no one forces you to buy ready made meals.
    I bet no one can say they are not guilty of putting down fast food to their kids, but at the end of the day when they are unhealthy at 16 are you going to blame McDonalds?

  • Comment number 22.

    Whose responsibility is it to promote healthy living?

    These people who are obese by there own making deserve what they get. It really highlights their own ignorance towards self appearance, self awareness and self control. Its not up to supermarkets to make them have personal self control. Have you self made fatties ever though what we all think of you? Your quite down the scale of intelligence to be frank.
    The ones that have a glandular problem or some GENUINE illness for being fat then that is completely different. My sympathies.

    No I dont need a nanny state for those that cant control their own eating habbits.......I can.

  • Comment number 23.

    2. At 08:34am on 15 Mar 2011, MellorSJ wrote:
    Me.

    Mind your own damn business!

    =========================================================================

    dito dito!

  • Comment number 24.

    It is the responsibility of the companies selling us all sorts of junk to realise the moral level they find themselves on for profit is below par. Some aren't capable of deciding for the right way by themselves. If I had my way, I'd ban booze and junk food and make the right food more affordable over the junk. Junk should be much more expensive than good food. The food makers are morally bankrupt.

  • Comment number 25.

    I am, what has it to do with anyone else? With all the happenings in the world the BBC has time to discuss food and health issues of the individual in the UK!
    What of the price increases, fuel costs, idiotic people in the Commons and so on, you know, things that matter.

  • Comment number 26.

    As the BBC appears to be rapidly becoming the mouthpiece for the Government's Big Society games, perhaps it would like to devote space to serious discussion about the potential meltdown at the Fukushima plant (where at least one reactor has the lethal mix of plutonium-uranium rods) and what this does for nuclear energy and all our futures. AP is reporting serious radiation issues.

    Such a subject places a pathetic voluntary agreement of one hundred and seventy businesses to 'health matters' into stark perspective.

  • Comment number 27.

    We are all going to die and at a risk of going all Logan's Run, there is a diminishing return on investment for health care as we get older.

    I wouldn't be surprised if "care for the elderly" when I become elderly will be shorter and sweeter than it is at present, because it makes so much sense.

    To put it bluntly, Doctors get a lot more benefit from our desire for longevity than their patients.

  • Comment number 28.

    We should be able to look after ourselves but, the amount of pesticides pumped into our food is something we know virtually nothing about so we must be guided by experts.
    I was amazed by the demonstrations by British farmers at Westminster last week telling us that we are buying too much pork from abroad and that they were not getting enough for their product.
    Now I think that is the top of the pile when it comes to Hippocracy ask any farmer why the cost of potatoes has more than doubled this year? they will tell you that they are selling their potatoes to Russia so that they can make Vodka. double standards and nothing more so you poor old farmers stop complaining about where we are buying our meat from and get your own house in the RIGHT order.

  • Comment number 29.

    The principle of labelling I fully support, it gives people the data they need to make their choices. That is the main point, it is the individuals choice.

    I like the M&S approach to labelling, 5 boxes, colour coded with green being good and red bad and different colours in between. I do hope these 170 companies come up with a standard system, we dont need the confusion that will come from 170 different systems!

    I buy the vast majority of my alcohol from France, I shall watch with interest to see what they do about labelling!

  • Comment number 30.

    Just have to look at the USA to see what happens to a society where responsibility of being healthy is left solely with the individual.

  • Comment number 31.

    What? Is this quangos by the back door? Non-jobs for scheme administrators?

    Give us an affordable food choice and leave us alone!!

    If you really want to do something, have a check on new food products. Do we really need another chocolate breakfast cereal, processed cheese sold as straws etc etc. Most people choose food based on price and drink because these daft schemes drive them nuts!!!

    Health and safety in the work place as elsewhere is already beyond a joke, and with the government cuts many council run leisure facilities are being closed or opening times reviewed.

    Do you really think that we will believe that anything that companies and supermarkets say about healthy living is not based on biased profit margins?

  • Comment number 32.

    Simple. Its the individual's decision and responsibility. The responsibility of food manufacturers and sellers should be to provide the information to inform consumers about the imapact of the product, either on packaging or online or via a mix of the two.

    Post 24 above is the sort of response I fear- proscriptive, dominating, anti-freedom, equating profit with bad. Most of these "junk" products are OK in moderation. The only person who should be determining what risk they take with theit life is yourself. What you need is easily accessible information to determine what's right for you. Frankly I'd have thought that in most cases we have that already and this "responsibility deal" is just publicity-seeking window-dressing.

  • Comment number 33.

    It should be illegal or at least suppliers should be open to compensation claims (even class actions) for selling harmful food, the industry would then police itself.

    Government just needs to set the standards for foods.

    Simple ! xxx

  • Comment number 34.

    I should be responsible for my health but I need reliable information to make informed choices.

    I have to lose a lot of weight and therefore I shop almost entirely at the Co-op which has both "traffic lights" re fat, sugar and calorie counts on the vast majority of its products. I don't have to take account of the information but I choose to do so and without it I would find it very hard to make my choices.

  • Comment number 35.

    "These people who are obese by there own making deserve what they get. It really highlights their own ignorance towards self appearance, self awareness and self control". OK, so what about those people who indulge in extreme sports and break legs - should the health service refuse to help them because it was their own stupid fault? What about those people who speed in cars and cause accidents - should they also be turned away from hospital after they cause accidents because it was their choice to speed?

    It's very easy - not to say sanctimonious and patronising - to make moral choices for other people.

  • Comment number 36.

    Hello!!!!! its all well and good putting traffic light systems and other silly gimmicks on food packaging BUT one simple easy way would be to make the healthy food cheaper!

    It just beggers belief when you go into the supermarket and you can buy 2 processed chicken portions for 1.00 yet 2 fresh chicken portions is around 5.00!

    Another good example is buscuits and cakes, yet fruit, veg etc is really expensive.
    Its all well and good saying you save money buying healthier options, but fruit only keeps a couple of days and theres only so much you can eat in a couple of days without spending time on the loo!! kids look for a "treat" now and again if healthier stuff was cheaper then im sure people would buy more and keep more of the better stuff in the fridge to grab on the go.
    Also you never see healthy food on special offer, its always the junk or crap!

    Thats the stuff that needs to be sorted out and its the responsibilty of the supermarkets, not the government or anyone they choose to employ on huge unjustfied wages!!

  • Comment number 37.

    We take care of ourselves, we don't buy junk food and so the retailer does not sell as many as it might want. Why not do the same? Do not buy junk food, buy the right stuff and see if that changes the retailers attitude. Only the consumer can affect the retailers supply by not buying rubbish.

  • Comment number 38.

    Once again the Cons do not want to take any form of responsibility. Everybody knows that when you ask for a voluntary code its just an excuse for the govermant not to do anything about legislation( funny they brought it in for cigarettes being hidden below the counter).Voluntary codes never work.In six months time things will be back as they were because there is no big stick to enforce the voluntary code.

  • Comment number 39.

    JDavisabc writes: "t is the responsibility of the companies selling us all sorts of junk to realise the moral level they find themselves on for profit is below par. Some aren't capable of deciding for the right way by themselves. If I had my way, I'd ban booze and junk food and make the right food more affordable over the junk. Junk should be much more expensive than good food. The food makers are morally bankrupt."

    Eating pork is morally bankrupt! (according to some) I therefore DEMAND that we tax it to death.

    When will these folk who think that THEIR morals should direct the behaviour of OTHERS just stop it?

  • Comment number 40.

    The government could and should encourage healthy eating and exercise.

    To do so requires not just gimmicky legislation and initiatives, and opening sports centres. It means breaking the supermarkets' and fast food industry's stanglehold on food supply. It also means planning decisions that encourage walking and cycling.

    We should recognise that our food industry is not all bad. The UK seems to have been rather good at eliminating hydrogenated vegetable oils, for example, faster than other EU countries.

    But we need to go much further than we have. Maybe we need to be a lot more ruthless about healthcare. Make people who eat badly, don't exercise, drink heavily and smoke, pay for healthcare, maybe?

  • Comment number 41.

    ALCOHOL

    Government has played a key part in encouraging heavy drinking and the new alcohol culture, the carrot is the tax and duty revenue on drinks.

    Remember, historically government refused to control AlcoPops and encouraged the explosion in 24/7 city centre drinking clubs, against best medical advice.

    We now have two generations who's fun time centres mainly on alcohol consumption and sadly little else, with some exceptions.

    Parts of many large City centres have been no go areas at night for decent people for about a decade, adding to public order costs.

    This is a clear case of government going against the lessons of history.

  • Comment number 42.

    Why should supermarkets be responsible for promoting healthy living? They're businesses! They're there to make money!

  • Comment number 43.

    There is only one person responsible for my health = My wife! No big macs for me folks ;-(

  • Comment number 44.

    It is obvious that the 'health promotion' industry is scared stiff of people taking responsibility for themselves. Eeek! They might have to produce solid evidence-based science to support their pronouncements instead of the vague opinion-based propaganda that they peddle at the moment.

    It's good to improve the level of information available, but I mean INFORMATION, proper data, so that those of us who so wish can use it to decide what we wish to buy and do.

    I'll be sticking to properly-cooked fresh food and moderation in all things (including booze), though.

  • Comment number 45.

    Like other private companies supermarkets are profit driven. They will have signed up to this "responsibility deal", because it helps their images and is free advertising for them. They will only act "responsibly" when it improves their balance sheets or they are required by law to do so.

    We can expect even more of this type of "collaboration" with private companies from the coalition than from New Labour. Almost invariably it results in a deal dictated by the private companies that pays merely lip service to the interests of ordinary citizens. Private companies have already succeeded in squashing a proposal for merely clearly labeling dangerous food.

    A recent absurdity was the attempt to do a deal with the alcohol industry to reduce the problem of excessive alcohol consumption. The deal was so bad that non profit organisations refused to endorse it. Hardly surprising when any reduction in alcohol consumption would necessarily reduce the profits of the industry.

    The only effective solution to these problems is to transfer the weight of taxation from income tax, which is paid by those generally engaged in the desirable occupation of producing useful goods and services, to duties and taxes on the production and marketing of undesirable products such as alcohol and sugary and fatty foods.

    Unfortunately there is little hope of this happening until we have a government which has more resistance to lobbying by private companies, and political funding is reformed.

  • Comment number 46.

    26. At 09:19am on 15 Mar 2011, Aneeta Trikk wrote:

    I'm with you Aneeta. Subject matter is a farce.

    What about Japan, what about the Saudis in Bahrain, is that an invasion, is it right that the ruling minority can invite foreign troops onto Bahraini soil? What would happen in the UK if the government invited any other European force to police out country? Would that be right???

    King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz has been watching Gaddafi.....

  • Comment number 47.

    It always amuses me when people describe information schemes such as this as the 'nanny state'. It implies that to put no information on food produce about what it contains gives individuals greater freedom.
    As an individual I would like to know exactly how much fat salt and sugar food contains so I can make an informed choice about what is good for me and my three year old daughter.
    Thirty years ago food manufacturers did not pile unhealthy amounts of sugar, fat and salt into their products to make it tastier so we didn't need schemes like this ( donuts are cheaper than apples now, they weren't then ). These days they do, and as a society we having to pay for the consequences in medical expenses and our health. So I don't care if its the nanny state, as I don't have time to cook all my food from scratch I want to know what is in the processed food I eat.

  • Comment number 48.

    23. At 09:08am on 15 Mar 2011, Funitikus wrote:

    2. At 08:34am on 15 Mar 2011, MellorSJ wrote:
    Me.

    Mind your own damn business!

    =========================================================================

    dito dito!
    ///////////
    And again. Big business should be limited to telling us the truth and in language we can understand about what rubbish they are adding to products and for the reason it is there - truthfully.
    Then we can decide for ourselves.

  • Comment number 49.

    a good question

    the number of absolutist, ban it all organisations, should be disbanded.

    public health should be decided by the electorate at seperate and independant referendums.not by closed shop enclaves of fanatics.

    health fascism is to be fought at every level.

  • Comment number 50.

    "Who should be responsible for keeping us healthy?"

    Primarily ourselves - using common-sense, aided by information from our Government & Doctors etc. The wealth of information available leaves no excuse for unhealthy-eating.
    Time for Parents to act responsibly - without excuses...

  • Comment number 51.

    26. At 09:19am on 15 Mar 2011, Aneeta Trikk wrote:
    As the BBC appears to be rapidly becoming the mouthpiece for the Government's Big Society games, perhaps it would like to devote space to serious discussion about the potential meltdown at the Fukushima plant (where at least one reactor has the lethal mix of plutonium-uranium rods) and what this does for nuclear energy and all our futures. AP is reporting serious radiation issues.

    Such a subject places a pathetic voluntary agreement of one hundred and seventy businesses to 'health matters' into stark perspective.
    ______________________________________________________________________

    I couldn't agree more; I used to enjoy the scope and diversity of HYS, contributions were interesting and the knock-a-bout enjoyable. But it now only ever has one thread open for contribution and debate because its designers have swamped it with stories and views from a limited few. It has been dumbed down and is no longer a platform for debate about the stories in the news. What indeed of the UK's energy security following Fukushima ? etc etc. But what do we get ? A banal and obvious question about who is responsible for our lifestyles - a question that a five year old would have no trouble in answering. It begs the question as to whose' interest HYS actually serves. As to this thread - must stay on topic - supermarkets cannot be responsible for prescribing my diet - they offer too many conflicting options to cater for our diversity of taste. There is no "right" or "wrong"; just choice. Get the message ?

  • Comment number 52.

    When will oney stop being wasted on stuff like this?!

    We are all responsible for ourselves!!!

  • Comment number 53.

    46. At 10:02am on 15 Mar 2011, John Mc wrote:

    26. At 09:19am on 15 Mar 2011, Aneeta Trikk wrote:

    I'm with you Aneeta. Subject matter is a farce.

    What about Japan, what about the Saudis in Bahrain, is that an invasion, is it right that the ruling minority can invite foreign troops onto Bahraini soil? What would happen in the UK if the government invited any other European force to police out country? Would that be right???

    King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz has been watching Gaddafi.....
    ___________________________________________
    It is your surprise that surprises me.

    "The media serve the interests of the state and corporate power that are closely interlinked, framing their reporting and analysis in a manner supportive of established privilege and limiting debate and discussion accordingly."
    Noam Chomsky: Necessary Illusions (free to read on-line!)

  • Comment number 54.

    Quite simply, the individual.

    But there needs to be a choice to be made. Right now, it is cheaper and easier to buy fatty and chemical packed food than anything fresh, and in supermarkets I use the word 'fresh' lightly.

    I am lucky in that I live close enough to work that I can get home and make myself something healthy, but many others just grab the nearest and cheapest thing they can so they don't have to spend too long away from their desk. I also have a good market nearby where I can get locally sourced vegetables (and once per month meat) at a cheaper price than many of the artificially price inflated, shrink wrapped variety imported from across the globe. Again, many others do not have this luxury and the supermarket is the only choice.

    I do go to supermarkets though (mainly to bleed them of their below-cost booze!!) and despair at what I see. The fresh fruit and veg are ridiculously overpriced and look unhealthily shiney (do you really want to eat an apple that has been blasted with radiation then dipped in wax to look 'appealing'? Thought not). The meat is factory farmed, a poor colour and again overpriced for what it is. At a good butcher you could buy healthy, locally sourced cuts for the same price but people are scared when it isn't bundled in plastic. Then there are ready meals made mostly of chemicals and fat which cost buttons.

    I know people say 'I have no time for cooking' but it really isn't hard. In the half hour it takes to warm up that curry in plastic you could have made your own; much healthier and far more satisfactory. A little education here really goes a long way - Jamie, how about instead of trying to play god in our schools you provide a few short, simple shows for people who don't know their way around a kitchen?

    I would love supermarkets to be responsible and provide locally sourced produce at a fair price, as they have all but killed our green grocers and butchers without even providing a cheaper alternative. But for these multinationals, profit is king and this will never happen. Getting them to sell the fresh stuff they do have at a reasonable price and ridding the country of these foul ready meals would be a good start, however!

  • Comment number 55.

    It is the individuals choice what they eat and how they live their lives!! it is not the [Nanny] governments job!!!!
    BUT If you part take of an unhealthy life style eg smoke etc then you must pay an extra premium to cover those costs when you get sick.

  • Comment number 56.

    My mummy.........
    Bring on that nanny state, I can’t think for myself, I am too stupid and uneducated to understand all that information so I go to the ‘chippy’ for all my meals. Help me all you ‘do gooders’ so you can feel good about yourselves.
    I don’t want to grow up and be responsible for my own life; it’s much easier to blame it on someone else.
    So please keep on pontificating from your armchairs whilst I completely ignore what you say and do whatever I want and get someone else to pay for it whilst I blame everyone but myself.
    Loven’it you mugs............

  • Comment number 57.

    Adults should be responsible for themselves and parents are responsible for their children, it's as simple as that.
    Shifting the responsibility on to supermarkets is just another let off for the lazy/feckless within our society who constantly complain "it's not my fault".

  • Comment number 58.

    12. At 08:49am on 15 Mar 2011, Bradford wrote:
    The government should create a basic minimum framework of protection, the rest should be up to the individual.

    At present too much government money is spent nannying people.

    ---------------

    But that's just the problem, the public if not repeatedly told to be healthly simply won't be. The government is not making it illegal to be unhealthly, but it's trying to encourage a healthier lifestyle which is in everyones interest as it costs less to look after a health population than an unhealthy one.

  • Comment number 59.

    The inidividual. Whose body is it, after all. Some posters have made the comment that government and other bodies can provide useful information. True, up to a point, but at the moment there is a confusing and often unscientific plethora of this. The media could do a great deal by not reporting any research that has been funded by any private interest whatsoever - that should certainly cut down on the rubbish. The government should fund serious research into major health problem areas and disseminate information. And individuals need to take the responsibility to read and really find out what is in the food we eat - much of what is printed is misleading. As the politicans have found out, legislation per se does not work well, so logically they should look at repealing some of the more ridiculous, and refrain from rushing to pass any more.

  • Comment number 60.

    What a daft question? There is only one person who is responsible for our health of mind and body and that is the individual concerned with a BIG helping hand from Almighty God in the first place! He gave us free will to choose between right and wrong both in the moral sense and also in the dietary sense so that's the SIMPLE and TRUTHFUL answer!

  • Comment number 61.

    I'm happy for the government to tell me how to live my life. At least then I don't have to use my own brain, and the cells used up to chose food types can be used for more productive tasks, like levelling up on black Ops.

    Cheers David, keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 62.

    53. At 10:26am on 15 Mar 2011, moreram wrote:

    46. At 10:02am on 15 Mar 2011, John Mc wrote

    I am not suprised at all but I thought it was worth mentioning.
    Thank you for the quote, I will add it to my reading list.

    However no one else is asking this question about Bahrain even the adult papers make little comment.

  • Comment number 63.

    "Who should be responsible for keeping us healthy"? is the HYS question.

    Generally, most people buy food they can afford and/or what's accessible in their neighbourhood and while at work. If you work on an industrial estate you may have those vans that deliver sausage sandwiches. Office workers buy those over-priced high salt filled sandwiches.

    Food inflation is rising globally with so many harvests being affected by extreme weather events in at least the last 5yrs; plus rising demand for 'western' style food in so-called 'non-western' countries - these countries should not fall into that trap.

    Ultimately, healthy food choices need to be affordable choices and not lost to imports and exports. Food is increasingly being quietly and slyly being speculated upon by commodity markets - more valuable than oil.

  • Comment number 64.

    61. At 10:33am on 15 Mar 2011, We_Are_All_Utd wrote:

    I'm happy for the government to tell me how to live my life. At least then I don't have to use my own brain, and the cells used up to chose food types can be used for more productive tasks, like levelling up on black Ops.

    Cheers David, keep up the good work.
    _________________________________________
    MW2 was better!

  • Comment number 65.

    Here we go yet again - masquerading as philanthropic leaders with the health of the nation at their hearts, supermarkets will use this wheeze as just another excuse to market leading brands by labelling them with lifestyle hints.

    It wouldn't be so bad if shoppers took notice of the warnings and recommendations, but there we seem to hit upon the main obstacle; a good proportion of us don't bother to read what's there, and the rest can barely read anyway.

    Responsibility for a healthy lifestyle lies with everybody, and cannot be blamed upon others. The sensible way to tackle unhealthy eating is to bring it onto the education agenda, ban junk food from all schools and lunchboxes, and make those in receipt of hospital treatment for obesity pay for it themselves before the fat-sucking operation takes place.

  • Comment number 66.

    We, ourselves.

    The medical profession has been trying to wrest responsibility for our health from us ever since they realised the National Health Service was a good earner. Consumerism has taken tasks from us that gave our bodies a chance to exercise - washing machines, dishwashers, cars, etc., and we've long lost sight of circadian cycles so we fight nature using things like articial light.

    And the politicians and commerce allow us to ingest all manner of poisons that have no place in our bodies - and about which we can do nothing. We're told that there is no scientific evidence of such-and-such doing us any harm - so up jump the politicians shouting "therefore it's perfectly safe." Perverted logic, that.

    One hunded and fifty years ago vintners who turned out bitter wines of a year would sweeten them with, no - not sugar - that might start a secondary ferment - but lead. There was no scientific evidence that it caused any harm therefore it was perfectly safe.

    We're never allowed to learn the lessons of lead, mad-cow canibalism, paraquat, mercury teeth fillings, asbestos, and a hundred other things. We never get the truth about effects of filth in the air we're forced to breathe, always blaming the good old visible scapegoat, tobacco, for all respiratory troubles. We've long lost the curiosity to inform ourselves as long as a besuited doc or politician is always popping up on telly with their certificates and overbearing voices assuring us they know best and what's right. Look at the radiation issue currently hanging over Japan...


  • Comment number 67.

    12. At 08:49am on 15 Mar 2011, Bradford wrote:
    The government should create a basic minimum framework of protection, the rest should be up to the individual.

    At present too much government money is spent nannying people.


    Since the consequences of unhealthy eating invariably end up as a financial liability to the state (in other words us) in terms of increased healthcare costs and often unemployment/invalidity benefit then it is quite reasonable for the state, as our agent, to educate and incent healthier eating habits. It is quite ironic that those on here who advocate low taxation also advocate little or no state intervention in how people live their lives. If those lifestyle choices increase the burden on the taxpayer, do we not have a right, indeed a duty, to intervene?

  • Comment number 68.

    As a retired helth professional, we need to be more responsible for our own health, by suggesting others will do it for us, just encourages more people to be helpless with own future. Hence many of our financial problems with public services are caused by that original lack of responsibility for own actions and self.

    Unfortunatly with regarfds to our own health, society still needs more factual information regarding what is good or bad, so as to be able to make a fully informed decission. This is a much more difficult issue, with such so little investment being made on empirical style research, and a much higher value being made on quantitive style research, that just pumps out numbers and often not taking all variations into account.

  • Comment number 69.

    38. At 09:58am on 15 Mar 2011, Alan B wrote:

    Once again the Cons do not want to take any form of responsibility. Everybody knows that when you ask for a voluntary code its just an excuse for the govermant not to do anything about legislation( funny they brought it in for cigarettes being hidden below the counter).Voluntary codes never work.In six months time things will be back as they were because there is no big stick to enforce the voluntary code.

    -------------------------------

    Another way of looking at it is trusting the public to use their brains and to make choices. If things go back to how it was in 6 months then it shows the population doesnt care enough. Otherwise those supermarkets that dont make the change will be avoided by customers who vote with their feet.

  • Comment number 70.

    The individual should be responsible for their own health. Government tells you that certain items are bad for you if there is a shortage and good for you if there is a surplus. Companies and sponsored chefs are interested in only one thing, profit. Doctors are also interested in money and being quoted. Prof Ian Gilmore is often spouting off about something, like minimum alcohol prices quoting France as an example where booze is cheaper than in the UK.

  • Comment number 71.

    How many people do we know who are grossly overweight or smoking themselves to death. There is a point of view that says "let them do it" but it impacts on the rest of us to do that. People are not free to commit suicide by quick means but let them commit suicide slowly by overeating or smoking themselves to lung cancer and that is seen as okay. Ludicrous. People do need protecting from themselves and their stupidity. Not because of some nanny state type beliefs but pure economics. I don't want to pay for overweight people to have expensive medical care when the problem could have been dealt with cheaper and easier when they were young and fit.

  • Comment number 72.

    13. At 08:50am on 15 Mar 2011, europhile wrote:
    I am responsible for keeping me healthy or unhealthy as I see fit, nobody else, and certainly not the government.

    If I wish to smoke, and I do, I will, if I wish to drink x units of booze a day, I will, if I wish to stuff myself with high calorie junk food,(but I do not), I will should I change my mind.
    If I wish to take regular exercise and I do, then I will.
    I have recently had a full MOT, blood tests the works and at 64 I am functioning like a 40 year old so go away all of you.

    I wish these self righteous prigs would just shut up!
    -*-
    Bravely spoken!
    But, you forgot to add "…and if I need hospital treatment for irresponsibly and knowingly screwing my health up, then pay I will!..."

  • Comment number 73.

    I thought it was Labour that wanted to rule every aspect of our lives; I see it is politicians in general.

    People need to take responsibility for their actions on every front not hide behind government dogma.

  • Comment number 74.

    J.F.W. this debate hardly deserves comment. Can we debate whether or not I still have to pay the BBC if I only use a computer for streaming video rather than a tuner?

  • Comment number 75.

    Nuclear plants cannot explode. There is so much incorrect information out there. The Obama administration in the US is putting it all out in order to deflect from his socialist agenda in the US.

  • Comment number 76.

    The individual is responsible. Just because something fits in your mouth doesn't mean you should put it in there.

    However, many individuals do not take that responsbility which is why we are rapidly becoming a country of obese and physically incapable people. That is why the government feels that it has to step in.

  • Comment number 77.

    /////18. At 09:01am on 15 Mar 2011, gasperike wrote:
    not any private company ,they cannot be trusted a private com0pany is only interest is makinga profit with a little outlay as possible ,like the hospital cleaning service they will do only what they can getaway with ,and fob is off with excuses////

    You talk as though the public sector was different, and above such things. That's wrong. Those police officers who don't turn up to deal with crime, those nurses who stand idly chatting whilst ignoring patients, those doctors who deal with symptoms (at best) and fail to deal competently with illnesses, those non-job in every local council and govt department - they're all public sector, and they're all pretty terrible.

  • Comment number 78.

    73. At 10:47am on 15 Mar 2011, One in a million wrote:
    I thought it was Labour that wanted to rule every aspect of our lives; I see it is politicians in general.

    People need to take responsibility for their actions on every front not hide behind government dogma.


    Exactly, so long as they are willing to accept the bill for treatment at NHS hospitals should they need treatment for conditions resulting from their irresponsible actions.

  • Comment number 79.

    62. At 10:38am on 15 Mar 2011, John Mc wrote:

    53. At 10:26am on 15 Mar 2011, moreram wrote:

    46. At 10:02am on 15 Mar 2011, John Mc wrote

    I am not suprised at all but I thought it was worth mentioning.
    Thank you for the quote, I will add it to my reading list.

    However no one else is asking this question about Bahrain even the adult papers make little comment.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    It was in the Guardian yesterday but because of the unfortunate events in Japan, it was somewhere around page six.

  • Comment number 80.

    Ah, let the government be nanny - NOW 'we' can all stop thinking for our selves - lovely...no responsibility - its just like being a baby!

    Now where is my organic bottle of milk?

  • Comment number 81.

    Who should be responsible for keeping us healthy? That is an easy one to answer, YOURSELF.

  • Comment number 82.

    I agree with the majority of the postings here in that responsibility for one's health lies solely with the individual.

    However, we must be properly informed. All foods and other consumables should be properly labelled to ensure that we all know the origins of the food and, for processed foods, the exact content and the origins of the content.

    I tend to avoid foods that contain what I think is excessive salt, sugar and certain fats and certain chemicals. I am also concerned regarding the health of the planet and try buy accordingly including attempting to avoid, where possible, foods (and other products) that contain soya (the lucrative soya production is one reason for the destruction of the south American rain forests) and palm oil (the lucrative palm oil production is one reason for the destruction of the Indonesian rain forests).

    I have gone out of my way to research what is ‘good’ and what is ‘not so good’ for my health. As such, I tend to eat 4 portions of fresh fruit and 3 portions of fresh veg per day and eat a pulse and wholemeal grain veggie meal for my main meal of the day at least twice per week and try to limit my intake of red meat to once or twice per week. I take a high strength Omega 3 capsule every day, take a multi vitamin/mineral tablet that includes selenium a couple of times per week, and try to take some exercise every day.

    This is my choice and not everyone will agree with what I do.

    I am convinced that the health of every person and the planet in general would be marginally better off should they do the same as me but too many people are totally ignorant of the facts, have no interest in finding out the facts, or do not care about anything other than what's on the box tonight or planning their next visit to the local fast food joint.

  • Comment number 83.

    wvpTV wrote:
    Government has played a key part in encouraging heavy drinking and the new alcohol culture, the carrot is the tax and duty revenue on drinks.


    Despite new evidence that more people are being treated in hospital for excessive drinking, the overall trend is that we are drinking less as a nation...

    Men and women of all ages are slowly curbing their excesses and drinking in moderation, according to the annual survey from the Office for National Statistics, which covers England, Scotland and Wales.

    It suggests that heavy drinking is falling, abstinence is rising, and young people are leading the drive towards healthier drinking...

    "There is a received wisdom that we must be drinking more," says Neil Williams of the British Beer and Pubs Association (BBPA). Its own figures, which are based on sales and not self-reporting, suggest alcohol sales peaked in 2004 and have fallen by 13% since then.

    "In reality, we see a fairly deep-rooted decline in alcohol consumption which dates back to 2004. That's not something you see acknowledged in the media."


    Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12397254


    So according to you the government has played a key part in encouraging the alcohol culture yet according to the ONS and the BBPA alcohol consumption has been falling steadily since 2002 and 2004 respectively.

    I can only assume you’ll be sending a letter of thanks to the government some time soon…

  • Comment number 84.

    73. At 10:47am on 15 Mar 2011, One in a million wrote:
    I thought it was Labour that wanted to rule every aspect of our lives; I see it is politicians in general.

    People need to take responsibility for their actions on every front not hide behind government dogma.
    -----------------------------------------
    Odd isn't it - the champions of the 'free market' and Thatcherism are all little socialist engineering fascists! Mmmmm

    And no one noticed that Reagan was an ACTOR!

    Fascism ALWAYS relies on the creation of guilty victims folks! It could be YOU!

  • Comment number 85.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 86.

    79. At 10:53am on 15 Mar 2011, Syni_cal wrote:

    62. At 10:38am on 15 Mar 2011, John Mc wrote:

    53. At 10:26am on 15 Mar 2011, moreram wrote:

    46. At 10:02am on 15 Mar 2011, John Mc wrote

    I am not suprised at all but I thought it was worth mentioning.
    Thank you for the quote, I will add it to my reading list.

    However no one else is asking this question about Bahrain even the adult papers make little comment.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    It was in the Guardian yesterday but because of the unfortunate events in Japan, it was somewhere around page six.

    ======================================================

    Not being Synical in any way but page 6? Lost in how many adverts or non stories. I saw it in the Independent but there were no comments allowed.

    No discussions just the report.

  • Comment number 87.


    Who should be responsible for keeping 'you' healthy?

    Yourself!

  • Comment number 88.

    David wrote:
    It is the individuals choice what they eat and how they live their lives!! it is not the [Nanny] governments job!!!!
    BUT If you part take of an unhealthy life style eg smoke etc then you must pay an extra premium to cover those costs when you get sick.



    They already do, it's called excise duty and VAT and in 2010 those taxes raised £10.5 billion for the treasury.

    Tax revenue from tobacco:
    http://www.the-tma.org.uk/tma-publications-research/facts-figures/tax-revenue-from-tobacco/

  • Comment number 89.

    Government to communicate, educate, legislate on quality and advertising etc. Supermarkets to conform to the law and to act responsibly.

    Ours to decide what we actually do eat or drink or smoke etc

    It is worth the Government effort on these things. You can still choose to smoke but those that do so have significantly reduced in numbers. This is a good thing for the cost of the NHS whatever your views on any other aspect of Nanny Statism.

  • Comment number 90.

    13. At 08:50am on 15 Mar 2011, europhile wrote:
    I am responsible for keeping me healthy or unhealthy as I see fit, nobody else, and certainly not the government.

    If I wish to smoke, and I do, I will, if I wish to drink x units of booze a day, I will, if I wish to stuff myself with high calorie junk food,(but I do not), I will should I change my mind.
    If I wish to take regular exercise and I do, then I will.
    I have recently had a full MOT, blood tests the works and at 64 I am functioning like a 40 year old so go away all of you.

    I wish these self righteous prigs would just shut up!
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    The irony of calling anyone else self-righteous at that end of that triumphalist shouting from the rooftops is sublime. Good work.

  • Comment number 91.

    Who should be responsible for keeping us healthy?

    LOL

    While we in UK talk about shops & food labelling, events in the world are 50 paces in front of UK discussions & even policys.

    Nice to have good labelling on tins & jars of food, it's just common sense & so far retailers/food suppliers have acted hugely attrociously in manipulating and deceiving consumers via multiple variant food/drink labelling.

    Each trys to gain advantage over another. Just go into one major shop say Tesco & consumers need to be chemistry/science university graduates to understand the labelling.

    While we are talking about relativity of labelling keeping us healthy and retailers/food producers responsibility, we just continue with our nuclear energy policys/programs which at the end of the day are about passing on to future unborn generations one of the most lethal and destructive substances known to our species and which is being built up in HUGE quantitys around the world and which promises and guarantees of safety are 100% false and meaningless because we humans just do not posess god like powers over nature.

    In Japan, the health discussions are probably of who is going to walk to their deaths, just as they did at Chernobyl.

    As Japans nuclear powerstations get more & more out of control then their food labelling may morally need and include radiation levels, if the wind is in the wrong direction then China and its vastly populated coastal citys will probably also be hugely affected.

    China is already demanding excessive compensation for Chinese victims from New Zealands earthquake, what do you think will be the outcome of radiation clouds floating over China.

    The health of Japan and China, which means the health of over 25% of the world total population, will greatly be decided by nuclear events and will also be decided upon by those who either volunteer or are ordered to go in and stop/prevent the situation from creating and extending even more destruction around the globe.

    Lets be honest here. Nuclear powerstations are not just a local issue.
    If they go wrong, for whatever reason, then their effects can be dispersed around the entire globe.

    But hey, lets talk about dodgy food labelling, because of course better food labels will keep us healthy and safe.

    If we had spent the same amount of money on wind & solar power etc as we have on nuclear energy, then the UK would long be be self sufficient in energy.

    But lets not forget that it's not money down the drain, because it always ends up getting funneled into a few peoples pockets.

    Maybe, in a years time, or less, or whenever, as a result of a nuclear accident or as in Japan, some food labels may require a radiation inclusion, those who can afford the least, will no doubtedly be buying those items with higher radiation.

    If Japans food resources are damaged in such a way, and Chinas and much of Asia, then there is no choice but to eat radiation poisoned food, because it's either that or starve to death. But hey, radiation can also travel much much further than China or Asia.

    This is the true and factual prospect of nuclear energy, there are no 100% guarantees, governments and experts who devoutly guarantee nuclear energys safety, I think should be chucked into Guantamano Bay, but first they should have a health label stuck upon them, or better, tattoo'd upon them, inclusive of, this person can and would damage your health due to greed, ignorance, negligence, or all 3.


    More than 170 companies - including the leading supermarket chains - have signed up to the "responsibility deal" to encourage healthier lifestyles.

    LOL - MEANINGLESS, as current evidence FACTUALLY PROVES- wild claims of healthy eating labelling which are continuously being found out by TV investigations etc.

    Lets see, so, you may eat something healthy, then you breath in something NOT healthy as a result of polution.

    UK government (TAXPAYERS) is/are currently paying around £300 million in fines to the EU, because we have the cheek to poison ourselves via breaking polution agreements, our children suffer from more & more respiratory health problems, and there are many many other cancer related health problems.

    Would it not be better to do a deal with the EU & use this £300 million to help subsidise converting lorrys to lower diesel emission lorrys.

    Also, what about these huge retail stores converting their roofs to be covered in solar tiles and erect wind turbines.

    Why can't we have a 10 year tax incentive policy/programme of conversion to solar/wind.
    Tesco's profits and others have also grown hugely, why cannot these big businesses take the lead and divert some of this extra profit to cleaning up our nation and CREATING A HEALTHIER NATION because ultimately, what you breath in, DOES NOT HAVE A HEALTH LABEL UPON IT, and what you breath in varies even from street to street, location to location.

    We should be engineering and manufacturing our OWN solar systems and wind turbines, using robots for maximum efficiency but also creating huge numbers of jobs.

    We are just coming out of many years of "Decent Homes" policy in which £billions have been spent upgrading the kitchens and heating systems of council houses, what we NEED is a similar program for converting the nations housing stock to solar & wind.

    Current policys regarding solar/wind subsidy is just so MEDIOCRE especially in the face of building energy problems and prices and prospective dangers from nuclear energy.

    I personally think that the events in Japan should predominantly decide our OWN futures and CHANGE our current plans to something more becoming of moral duty and obligation to present generations and even moreso, to FUTURE generations.

    Healthy eating labelling is a TOTAL NONSENSE if the air you breath is NON healthy or the food you eat is poisoned.

  • Comment number 92.

    79. At 10:53am on 15 Mar 2011, Syni_cal wrote:
    62. At 10:38am on 15 Mar 2011, John Mc wrote:

    53. At 10:26am on 15 Mar 2011, moreram wrote:

    46. At 10:02am on 15 Mar 2011, John Mc wrote

    I am not suprised at all but I thought it was worth mentioning.
    Thank you for the quote, I will add it to my reading list.

    However no one else is asking this question about Bahrain even the adult papers make little comment.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    It was in the Guardian yesterday but because of the unfortunate events in Japan, it was somewhere around page six.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    Come on - there is a news black out going on in relation to the Middle East! I suggest you get on to Livestation and watch some other news channels from around the world. I find a good VPN is useful!

  • Comment number 93.

    Health, like hygeine, is a personal issue. Some people don't care about their bodies until it's too late. Others fine-tune their bodies to the point where any accident creates bodily mayhem. Most of us are somewhere in the middle, though, and small changes can make a difference.

    We all know the score: drink a little less and don't binge; stop smoking, or at least reduce what you smoke; less meat, especially red meat; fresh fruit and vegetables; more fibre and biffodus bacteria (the good stuff); more exercise and less of being a couch-potato. All these things have been pointed out by many prominent people many times in the past. And ultimately it is our choice as to whether we listen or not.

    Now, I'm not holier than thou. I'm not going to state that I lost 40 Stone in 3 weeks, or that I completed 10 marathons in under 10 hours. Mostly because it's patently not true, but also because such claims are extreme, and the main thing is to take small steps, ensuring you get comfortable with them before the next step, to allow a permanent improvement. I did manage to stop smoking in one go, but that is unusual and I'd recommend that most people take more steps to quit for good. And it's the same with food. A complete change of diet will not last, but the gradual introduction of various healthier items is more likely to succeed. The only issue we need to overcome then is why healthier food is more expensive than stodgy grub, and how can we change that to encourage healthier eating amongst the more cereberally challenged.

  • Comment number 94.

    All the supermarket have only one purpose To make extra big profits The goods they sell must have a long life to do this, I done an experiment with some apples{ non E.U.} a few weeks ago after 4 months they were still the same no decay ??the sell by date was for 3 weeks? What are they doing to the other food they sell us? and why is this allowed in the E.U.? What other foods do they taint with chemicals? You dont buy fresh food in supermarkets?

  • Comment number 95.

    A combination of ourselves, government and the food industry.

    People who say the government should have no role aren't thinking.

    You can only make informed choices with the information that is available to you. If completely unregulated the food industry has shown time and time again that it will, and still does put it's own short-term profits before the health of the nation, including deliberately misleading advertising and misleading claims about supposed health benefits.

    Then there are things like:

    would anyone think that a "healthy" Eat Natural fruit and cereal bar has nearly as many calories as a Mars Bar?

    Sunny Delight was originally stocked in the same section as fruit juice but contains as nearly as much sugar as cola?

    Some of Subway's sandwiches contain as many calories as a Big Mac?

    Plenty of people aren't going to figure this stuff out for themselves.

  • Comment number 96.

    I like the idea of being able to see what's in food easily.....

    But it's up to the individual to take responsibility for what is ingested.

  • Comment number 97.

    Elsewhere within the BBC pages is a stark item on honey bees.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/

    Mr Black has also been wheeled out to report on the Fukushima Daiichi crisis. Mr Black appears to blame 'everything' for the honey bee decline just as scientific opinion appears to catch up with him. I'd like to blame 'everything' for our health crisis too. That 'everything' includes 'everything'. So BBC can you explain just what part of 'everything' you do not understand when producing a pointless question like this one for HYS?

    And just how is the 'new' HYS an improvement?

  • Comment number 98.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 99.

    the health and wealth of our nation is the goverments responsibility.we the electorate vote in the party who,in our opinion, will be the best at creating a climate for this to be so. along side of this agreed contract
    is the individuals right and responsibility to care for himself, his family and a sworn alliegence and loyalty to his country.on a personal level it is commonsense to look after yourself from a pyhisical point of viewe.alas it is not the case for everyone;drugs,poverty,despair brought on by a number of issue's infect and destroy peoples lives,that is a sad fact of our society.in these circumstances i'd like to think we would,as a nation, want to help.that is what the big society means to me...

  • Comment number 100.

    Quite hilarious - the State 'pretends' to have concern for the health of the nation but wishes to put fluoride in the drinking water = its a toxic by-product of Aluminium production and ingestion causes long term health problems! But hay, the Government want us to drink it, shower in it and swim in it! The Germans refused to put it in their water supply cos it is against their constitution to for 'medication' on the population!

    Never mind folks - so long as you are informed of the negative effects of eating lard you will be OK!

 

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