UK government wants nation to decide on health tasks

The Department of Health has today launched a publicity campaign to gain feedback on what the government should and should not be doing to create slimmer, healthier Brits. With obesity and other self-inflicted health problems on the rise, there's to be a White Paper on the nation's health. Kids should be encouraged to cycle to school as part of their one-hour daily exercise routine, says the Department of Health.
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Health Secretary John Reid today unveiled details of a huge national consultation on how to improve the nation’s health and wellbeing.

'Choosing Health?' will form the basis of a nationwide consultation exercise over the next three months, designed to engage the entire population in debate.

Hundreds of events will take place across the country, organised by the NHS, local authorities and public health organisations.

Reid said:

"These are issues for all of us, not just for the Government. We need a big debate about where Government responsibility lies and where individuals must play a part in tackling vital [health] challenges.

The consultation was first announced on February 3rd but started officially today. It ends on May 28th.

And here's where the bicycle trade can get involved: The consultation process will involve "stakeholders, including the public sector, voluntary organisations, professional organisations, industry and the media, to contribute to the debate."

Reid said: "I want everyone to make their voice heard – because everyone’s future is at stake. We are setting up the biggest consultation exercise of its kind to ensure we hear from across the country – from people of all backgrounds, from industry, sport, the media – and of course the NHS."

The 'Choosing Health?' asks what changes might be desirable from individuals, organisations and Government, national and local, on the following topics:

* restricting smoking

* encouraging walking and cycling

* access to fruit and vegetables

* food labelling

* advertising

* preventing and treating sexual infections

* employers providing healthy workplaces

Bike companies, cycle shops, interested individuals, bicycle magazines and cycle orgs should all submit views to the consultation exercise. Here's a PDF of the cover-sheet:

A whole load of supporting downloads can be found here:

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