King's Cross is home to many celebrities, one of whom is Professor Phil James. Phil did his medical training at our local hospital, UCH. He lives in King's Cross and is President of the International Association for the Study of Obesity (IASO), an independent not-for-profit organisation.
The IASO links over 50 regional and national associations with over 10,000 members in scientific, medical and research organisations. It is an umbrella organisation for 52 national obesity associations representing 56 countries.
Last Thursday saw Phil explaining the ramifications of new UK Government policy towards public health, particularly relating to the Government's intention to abolish the Food Standards Agency and to work closely with large food companies to stop the 'prescriptive' approach to school dinners taken in recent years.
The Government is not keen on the Jamie Oliver led introduction of healthy low fat, low salt food into schools. They would rather schools stayed out of the decisions that they believe only parents should make about what children eat. I visited Copenhagen Primary School at lunchtime recently and witnessed this prescriptive approach in action. Kids happily tucking into appetising healthy food – not a turkey twizzler in sight.
As John Snow interviewed Phil it became clear that this is just the start of what maybe a full scale attack on public health. Phil said,
"We are threatened with the reversal of the trend towards better public health"
You can see the full piece by clicking on this link and sliding across to 9.07 minutes in. Phil's interview starts at 13 minutes in.