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LONDON - The Times here reports that a group of public health professionals in the UK is suggesting that, among other things, clothes made in larger sizes should carry a warning label suggesting that the person needs to lose weight and providing an obesity hotline number of people seeking help.

The team, which includes Sir George Alberti, the government’s national director for emergency care, also suggests that:

• Candy and snacks should not be sold at checkout lanes.
• All new roads should be built to include bicycle lanes.
• Comprehensive and consistent testing of school children to determine who is at-risk for obesity and resultant medical problems.
• Foods high in sugar or saturated fat should carry an extra tax.

According to the report issued by the group, the current “pull yourself together, eat less and exercise more” approach is not adequate to the British obesity crisis, and it describes its suggestions as “reasonable.”

The Times quotes the report as concluding:

“Medical practice must adapt to the current epidemic of obesity and nutrition-related diseases. The profession must unite the forces of public health and acute services to generate sustainable changes in food and lifestyles: matters at the heart of our cultural identities.

“Furthermore, training in public health medicine should urge all doctors to contribute towards bringing changes in the food industry and in the environment that will lead to a more physically active, healthier and happier population.

“As the prevalence and costs of obesity escalate, the economic argument for giving high priority to obesity and weight management through a designated co-ordinating agency will ultimately become overwhelming. The only question is, will action be taken before it is too late?”
KC's View:
We have to say that there is a certain logic and common sense to treating obesity as a societal problem and taking a more holistic approach to dealing with it. We love the bicycle lanes idea…it makes a lot of sense.

That said, putting warning labels in pants with waistlines larger than 40 inches strikes as going a step too far. In a word, unreasonable.

Next thing you know there will be sensors in the dressing rooms that will set off a voice saying things like, “that would fit better if you skipped dessert once in a while.”

Somewhere, George Orwell and Winston Churchill may be having a long conversation about the state of current British affairs.