In a speech delivered to the public services think-tank Reform, Mr Lansley pointed to ‘behaviour change’ as the cure for rising obesity rates.
‘We can and want to remove the excuses by providing an improved environment but it is no substitute for discipline and self-esteem. People need to know that the buck stops with them. They can’t shuffle off the responsibility’ he said.
Making reference to the Foresight Report on Obesity he said he recognised that environmental and biological factors have contributed to the rise in obesity, but that this was often used as an excuse for people to actually lose weight.
Practical measures suggested for adults included providing better information and role models for behaviour change and he also encouraged childrento take some responsibility for their health.
Mr Lansley concluded by outlining his ‘Responsibility Deal’ on public health, which brings together business representatives, voluntary groups and experts to produce a detailed plan to improve public health. Policy proposals agreed so far are industry reduction of portion sizes, regulation on advertising from the food industry and government promotion of better diets.