Inconsistent and confusing messages from public health initiatives is preventing people from choosing healthier lifestyles, a report has said.
Messages need greater clarity and consistency to help people make the right choices, according to the Public Health Commission set up by shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley.
In a bid to tackle health issues such as rising obesity levels and alcohol abuse, the report We’re All In This Together, Improving the Long-Term Health of the Nation detailed a number of recommendations:
- a single, branded health campaign promoting three key messages about what makes up a healthy diet;
- a greater understanding of the relationship between calories consumed and calories burned, and responsible drinking;
- the provision of consistent nutritional information about the food people eat, and whether they buy it in a supermarket or in a restaurant or pub.
It also called for the standardising of portion sizes on which nutritional information is based, and the extension of restrictions on advertising food to children to cover all new and non-broadcast media.
Mr Lansley said he backed the idea of a ‘unified message’ based around a healthy diet, while calling for the extension of nutritional information for restaurant food.