Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1097/31161

From The Socialist newspaper, 5 August 2020

Tories' obesity plans - blaming individuals not the profit system

  (Click to enlarge)

Heather Rawling, Leicester Socialist Party

First, the elderly were told to shield from Covid-19. Then, statistics revealed a disproportionate number of people from ethnic minorities were dying from the virus. Now, obesity is being linked to a serious risk of fatality from the virus.

The common factor, however, is poverty. And poverty is written into the DNA of capitalism.

According to the Nuffield Trust, there is a strong association between deprivation and obesity in children. In 2018-19, the prevalence of obesity in those aged 10-11 was 27% in the most-deprived areas and 13% in the least-deprived areas. Almost two-thirds of adults in England are overweight.

Poorer people suffer from a lack of decent housing, the gig economy and zero-hour contracts, low wages, Universal Credit and poor diets.

Government data revealed that during the first months of lockdown 3.7 million were forced to use food banks. You take what is offered, whether it is healthy or not.

Pre-pandemic council cuts have closed swimming pools and sold off playing fields and other sports facilities. Private gyms are too expensive if you're on a low wage or benefits even if you could afford the kit.

This pandemic has exposed inequalities in a most cruel way. Poverty, obesity and its related diseases make some people old or dead before their time. But don't worry, Boris Johnson has announced government plans to tackle obesity, possibly because of his own Covid brush with death.

The proposals include:

In other words, it's the individual's responsibility. "If we all do our bit," says Boris, living on a different planet to the rest of us, "we can reduce our health risks and protect ourselves against coronavirus".

What choice?

How much choice do we really have in the food we buy and eat? Working parents arrive home shattered and have little time or energy to prepare a home-cooked dinner.

Families living on housing estates are often miles from shops selling fresh food as local shops cannot compete with the superstores.

Public transport has been drastically cut back and most people on benefits don't have cars. Chances are, though, there will be fast food outlets offering trans-fats, high-sugar, and high-salt cheap meals, made with inferior ingredients, nearby.

Obesity is not an 'individual's problem'. The food industry is responsible for driving down food standards and aggressively marketing unhealthy foods.

You can bet that even now, the food manufacturers are lobbying the government to water down its inadequate proposals.

ITV and Channel 4 have warned the government that the media sector will lose 200 million in advertising revenue from these proposals.

We can't even trust the research. The British Nutrition Foundation was funded by the sugar industry, with a vested interest in keeping our sugar consumption high. Instead, the emphasis on obesity is a lack of exercise or unbalanced diets, not junk food.

The Socialist Party demands:

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 5 August 2020:


News

NHS pay: 15% for all now

From first wave to second? Capitalism's Covid failures

Capitalism's 'vaccine war' shows need for socialist cooperation

Tories' obesity plans - blaming individuals not the profit system


What we think

Labour payouts: unions must discuss political representation


Workplace news

Wales: GE Aviation workers march to save jobs

PCS union: Reject longer DWP opening hours

'First you clap us then you slap us': hundreds march for NHS pay rise

Sick pay victory at Homerton hospital!

Unite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

Oppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed

Workplace news in brief


No going back

What would socialist universities look like?


International

Cuba: Covid-19 and the 60-year-old embargo

Anniversary of nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

80 years since the murder of Leon Trotsky rally


Campaigns

A-level results day 2020: Fight for our future!

Fighting to end racism and capitalism

North London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

Young Socialist day of action

Doncaster: Vigil for murdered women

Engage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

Campaign stalls on jobs, pay, NHS and racism

Why I joined - Covid changed my outlook

Socialist Party meetings: Online and in-person

The Socialist summer schedule


 

Home   |   The Socialist 5 August 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Coronavirus:

triangleNorth East lockdown: simmering anger at Tory incompetence

triangleTesting shambles: unions must fight back

triangleTory Covid chaos

triangleTwo weeks to donate: we need your help

triangleCovid and the third sector: for public planning, not charity stopgaps

Tories:

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Tories in Crisis

triangleWhy I joined the Socialist Party: Tories and Blairites only care about corporate greed

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Covid Schools + Tories = Chaos

triangleBlame politicians, not workers and young people

Profit system:

triangleTrump's trashing of the environment - Dump the capitalist profit system!

triangleProfit system rapidly destroying environment

triangleTurn Carillion crisis into movement against privatisation and capitalism

Profit:

triangle'FinCEN Files' expose rampant financial corruption: nationalise the banks!

triangleCapitalist profit and the race to develop a vaccine

Food:

triangle300 Covid cases at Northampton food plant - management to blame, not the workers!

Government:

triangleThailand: Youth rising against hated junta

Benefits:

triangleWelfare after Covid-19

Covid:

triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: Britain in the Covid storm - Fightback needed against Tory attacks

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

23/9/20

Housing

Extend eviction ban! Cap rents! Build council homes!

23/9/20

Coronavirus

Testing shambles: unions must fight back

23/9/20

Universities

Covid and the campuses

23/9/20

Coronavirus

North East lockdown: simmering anger at Tory incompetence

23/9/20

NHS

Fund NHS and pay rise now

23/9/20

Coronavirus

Tory Covid chaos

23/9/20

Banks

'FinCEN Files' expose rampant financial corruption: nationalise the banks!

23/9/20

Amazon

News in brief

23/9/20

Schools

Johnson's schools social-distancing lie

17/9/20

Britain

Britain's fragile Covid equilibrium is coming to an end

16/9/20

NHS

NHS workers: "We deserve a fair wage" - 15% now!

16/9/20

Covid

Capitalist profit and the race to develop a vaccine

16/9/20

Covid

Covid and the third sector: for public planning, not charity stopgaps

16/9/20

Profit

Under the microscope

16/9/20

Covid

'Covid marshalls' must be accountable to communities

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999