NICE has recommended that GPs should refer over 2 million people who are overweight for healthy cookery classes and exercise sessions.
Although the costs will run to £435 per person, NICE estimates that the classes will pay for themselves within 14 years, because of the rapidly growing effect of poor food on health. Cases of diabetes have doubled in the past twenty years in the UK and already cost £8.8bn to manage annually. Worldwide, obesity is the fastest growing health risk, with poor diet responsible for one in five deaths.
The College is one of the leading champions of social prescribing, and we welcome the news that NICE is taking this approach so seriously. At our second conference on food, ‘Food is Medicine’ we included cookery demonstrations, as part of a wide-ranging programme about promoting health through a good diet.
Read more about the NICE programme on the Times website here (no paywall).