In between the madness of your Christmas shopping last year, it may have escaped your attention that there was a bit of a media backlash against plans to draw up a Government policy on public health. Reports circulated that some of the big food and drink manufacturers were involved with drafting the policy, which understandably ruffled a few feathers. After all, this is a policy that has a huge task of reducing obesity and which, if something’s not done soon, is going to affect every other person by 2050 (and what people eat and drink clearly plays a huge role that).
We should point out here that we’re not opposed to businesses being involved in policy development: it’s important to ensure that policies can be implemented effectively. But we do think that such involvement should be open and transparent.
Back in November we were aware that the Government was busy beavering away at the public health White Paper and it got us thinking what we would do if we were put in the hot seat. We had loads of ideas but we were interested in getting the opinions of real experts. So, we invited nine of the very best experts we could find to Fruit Towers for a roundtable discussion. Well, we say roundtable but actually we don’t have a round table big enough to fit nine people around. What we actually had was a four-rectangle-tables-pushed-together discussion. But that doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?
We were so impressed with some of the ideas that came out of the expert discussion that we decided to write our very own version of the White Paper, aptly named the Orange Paper- Making it happen: healthy eating and 5-a-day.