Regulate portions to cut obesity, says academic

Voluntary agreements with the food industry are not enough to tackle the obesity epidemic, a US academic has argued.

Obesity: regulated portion sizes could help tackle epidemic
Obesity: regulated portion sizes could help tackle epidemic

Dr Thomas Farley, of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, said governments should consider regulating portion sizes to avoid ‘needless deaths’ caused by obesity.

The DH has favoured voluntary industry agreements through a 'responsibility deal', encouraging measures such as salt reduction and calorie labelling on menus.

In a JAMA editorial, Dr Farley said these measures alone were less effective than regulation as manufacturers primarily respond to shareholders’ demands, and larger portions are more profitable.

Instead, alongside voluntary deals and advice, governments must regulate food products that harm the largest numbers of people, he said.

In New York City, a $0.01-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks reduces the financial incentive to market large portion sizes.

The city’s authorities have also proposed a cap on the portion size of sugary drinks served at restaurants.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Practices handed one-month opt-out window as revamped network DES unveiled

Practices handed one-month opt-out window as revamped network DES unveiled

NHS England has unveiled a revamped DES package for 2020/21 confirming new targets,...

GPs delivered huge rise in face-to-face consultations in week before NHS England letter

GPs delivered huge rise in face-to-face consultations in week before NHS England letter

GPs delivered a huge increase in face-to-face appointments in the week before NHS...

RCGP facing legal action over stance on assisted dying

RCGP facing legal action over stance on assisted dying

The RCGP is facing legal action over its decision to remain opposed to assisted dying...

Medeconomics Live aims to help practices thrive under the new GP contract

Medeconomics Live aims to help practices thrive under the new GP contract

The one-day, virtual Medeconomics Live conference aims to provide practices with...

GPs face wave of abuse and complaints after NHS England face-to-face appointments claims

GPs face wave of abuse and complaints after NHS England face-to-face appointments claims

GP practices have faced a wave of abuse and complaints after a letter from NHS England...

Government denies plan to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of COVID-19 testing

Government denies plan to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of COVID-19 testing

The government has denied plans to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of the struggling COVID-19...