Dr Michael Mosley to explore why the UK is losing its battle with obesity after 30 years of government schemes trying to tackle the issue in a new TV show.
The 64-year-old broadcaster and former doctor will front the two-part series, titled Michael Mosley: Who Made Britain Fat? for Channel 4 this spring.
Mosley will investigate whether the current Government’s new plans have a hope of succeeding when more than 600 previous policies have failed, Channel 4 has said.
He will also speak to political insiders, as well as the public and campaigners like chef Jamie Oliver, to hear their stories about what is at stake if the Government does not address the problem.
Mosley said: “Ever since I discovered that I had type 2 diabetes, back in 2012, and managed to get my blood sugars back to a healthy range by losing weight, I’ve been writing about the dangers of our ever-expanding waistlines.
“The pandemic has, in turn, contributed to soaring rates of childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes and blood pressure, all linked to our growing love of takeaways and ultra-processed foods.
“The current Government appears keen to do something about it – but will its solutions work? And to what extent have 30 years of policy failure contributed to our stunningly high rates of obesity?
“It’s desperately important we get this right, so I’m thrilled to be investigating this area for Channel 4. It’s been an eye-opening journey!”
The broadcaster will speak to political insiders, including former chancellor George Osborne and former chief of policy for David Cameron Baroness Cavendish, to discover the truth about industry lobbying and political pressure and look at the amount spent by governments trying to tackle the problem.
He will also highlight why it has become an even more urgent challenge in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In episode one, Mosley will investigate the current Government’s new anti-obesity proposals and will reveal findings on the effectiveness of some schemes and the reality of hyped proposals on the frontline.
Episode two will see the broadcaster look at towns and high streets where these policies are supposed to be making a difference, exploring if supermarkets are doing enough and whether the health service is getting it right on obesity.
Louisa Compton, head of news and current affairs and specialist factual and sport, said: “How can it be that after 30 years of different government initiatives obesity is still rising at an alarming rate in Britain?
“We’re really excited that Michael Mosley, having already made two successful series on weight loss for the channel, is taking his considerable expertise to investigate what the UK is getting wrong when it comes to tackling obesity.”
Adam Vandermark, commissioning editor for news and current affairs, added: “What will truly solve the obesity crisis in the UK? We’ve had numerous strategies involving huge amounts of public money, but it still remains a major public health issue.
“Michael Mosley journalistic rigour gets to the root of the problem, and asks if policymakers really are being radical and brave enough to tackle it.”
Michael Mosley: Who Made Britain Fat? airs this spring on Channel 4.