Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Making Healthy Choices Easier

This is the subtitle of the Government White Paper on public health which was the subject of a Ministerial announcement earlier today.

Unfortunately, much of the content of the document has been leaked over the period of a long weekend - reinforcing the widely held belief that the present Government has scant regard for parliament.

A lot of it is well meaning but some of the paper verges on the gimmicky. Why do we need lifestyke advisors? I have long thought that most people (providing they have been to school) have a fair idea about what is a healthy diet and what isn't and most people know that they should be exercising more. We all know that we shouldn't smoke or take drugs and should only drink moderately but everybody chooses how to live their lives and takes the consequences.

I was lucky enough to be called to ask a question after the statement and asked about cold/damp housing conditions for the old and the elderly which contributed to poor health. The Minister agreed with me on that but claimed it was covered in the report.. Haven't managed to read all 200 pages yet but if it is there it is certainly not jumping off the pages.