No10 today unveiled the Fat Control Quango, which will replace Public Health England when the ailing agency is finally wound up.
The Office for Health Promotion is tasked with tackling the root causes of disease, eradicating obesity and smoking, and improving mental health.
Boris Johnson – once a vocal critic of government interventions by nannies – said the agency, which won’t start operating until the fall, will help Britons lead healthy lives.
Disease prevention work will be routed to the UK Health Security Agency, which will prepare the country for future disease outbreaks or biochemical attacks.
UKSA will initially focus on combating Covid and bring the NHS Test and Trace and the Joint Biosecurity Center under one roof.
Mountains of studies have shown that people who are overweight or who smoke are at higher risk from a variety of diseases – including cancer, heart disease, and Covid.
The Office of Health Promotion is tasked with tackling the root causes of disease and is running the PHE branch best known for putting up posters asking the British to count calories
Mr Johnson “lost quite a bit of weight” from a fitness kick triggered by his fight against Covid. He is pictured today in Westminster jogging with Dilyn, who is hunting Egyptian geese
What is the Office for Health Promotion?
What will it do?
The OHP will look into the causes of diseases such as obesity, smoking and poor mental health.
Boris Johnson said it will help the British live healthy lives.
The agency will take over the arm of PHE responsible for campaigning in the public health sector – including putting up posters urging Brits to quit smoking.
When will it open?
Ministers say they plan to open the new center “this fall”.
Who will run it?
Ministers have yet to decide who will run the agency.
Whoever is appointed will report to Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Secretary of Health Matt Hancock.
How is it funded?
The OHP will be supported from the existing Public Health England budget.
Ministers still have to say how much money has been allocated to run the new agency.
According to Labor, the agency needs to be funded enough to make sure it keeps its promise.
Has there been any controversy?
Just months before the pandemic began, the prime minister had railed against the “creeping of the nanny state” and wrote columns calling obese people “their own fat fault”.
Announcing the new agency, Mr. Johnson said, “The new health promotion agency will be critical to addressing the root causes, not just symptoms, of poor health and improving disease and ailment prevention.
“Covid has shown the importance of physical health to our ability to fight such diseases and we must continue to help people lead healthy lives so we can better prevent and fight all diseases.”
The Prime Minister famously admitted that I had been rushed to intensive care after the Covid fear that left him hospitalized with the virus in April last year.
Since then, the 56-year-old, who is a regular in London, said he had lost “quite a bit” of weight by cutting back on carbohydrates, chocolate and cheese, and exercising regularly.
Mr Johnson has since launched an action on Downing Street to crack down on obesity. Measures are expected to come into effect, including a ban on junk food advertising before 9 p.m. and mandatory calorie labeling on restaurant menus.
This despite the fact that being overweight was “their own fat fault” and that they protested government-led interventions barely months before the pandemic.
Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty, who will co-head the OHP with Secretary of Health Matt Hancock, added it will work across the public sector.
“Preventing disease and helping our communities live healthy lives is very important,” he said.
‘Covid’s non-direct harm to public health will not be trivial. We need an evidence-based and collaborative approach to health promotion to support this recovery.
“The OHP will work at both national and local levels, as well as with the NHS, academia, the third sector, academics, researchers and industry to develop evidence-based strategies.”
The agency will take over the PHE branch best known for running billboard campaigns asking the British to monitor their caloric intake.
The Ministry of Health, which will fund the agency, said about 80 percent of illnesses are due to lifestyle factors such as diet, smoking and exercise.
They added the disease costs around £ 100 billion a year in working-age adults.
The head of the new agency has yet to be hired but is expected to be a top expert with experience in the fight against chronic diseases.
It comes after the ministers announced that the deputy chief physician, Dr. Jenny Harries would head UKSA last week.
Dr. Harries has advised the government during the current pandemic and has been overseeing the UK’s response to Russia’s Novichok poisoning in 2018.
The UKSA, the final name for the National Institute of Health Protection, will also be fully operational this fall.
Jonathan Ashworth, Shadow Health Secretary, said the new office “needs to be backed up by adequate investment”.
“The Covid crisis has shed light on the shocking inequalities that have made us vulnerable and resilient to the pandemic,” added the Labor MP.
“Years of conservative government mean that advances in life expectancy for some of the poorest in this country were stalling and even declining before the pandemic.
“The disproportionate impact of this virus on the worst-off and black, Asian and ethnic minorities must also be a wake-up call.”