Press Release Press Release Press Release

15 February 2000


Health visitors and school nurses will be reinforcing the message against "the junk food culture", following today’s (Thursday, 15 February) shock report that 20% of adults are now obese.

The Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association said that National Audit Office’s report highlighted a serious public health situation where "we seem to be becoming a nation of couch potatoes eating too much junk food."

The CPHVA said that it supported the government’s emphasis on raising the profile of public health and pledged that its members would reinforce the "better diet, more exercise" message.

The CPHVA’s Director Jackie Carnell said:
"This report pinpoints a very worrying trend about the nation’s health and the knock-on effect in terms of loss to the economy through days off sick and long-term illness.

Health visitors and school nurses are very well placed to reinforce the healthier lifestyle messages. Even a small improvement in dieting and exercising can generate proportionately large gains in health.

However, it is a more complex picture than the report suggests. What do you say to a mother who is afraid to let her children out to play because the area is regarded as unsafe; whose only shop is a corner store where the prices are more expensive and choice of fruit and vegetables is limited; and whose local school makes sport a voluntary activity? It raises questions across the whole range of economic and social policy.

Education by health professionals is one of the keys to creating a better climate where people eat better, do more exercise – and, as a result, live longer."



For further information, please contact:

Shaun Noble, Press Officer (020) 7939 7043

mobile 07768 69 39 40

CPHVA press releases can be seen on the CPHVA web site:

The CPHVA is an autonomous professional section of the Manufacturing, Science and Finance union. The CPHVA represents 18,000 health visitors, school nurses, practice nurses and registered nurses working in the community in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.