The King's Fund statement on Chief Medical Officer's report on physical activity and health

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The King's Fund today welcomed the Chief Medical Officer's report on physical activity and health, but warned that measures to tackle the UK's rising levels of obesity, diabetes and sexually transmitted disease will fail unless there is a radical shift in attitudes and ways of working across government, business, NHS professionals and individuals themselves.

The King's Fund chief executive Niall Dickson said:

'This is a useful and well-intentioned report, but knowing what causes ill-health and exhorting the public to change their behaviour is just a start. If we really do want to keep people well, not just make them better when they are ill, we will need to create a health system that is genuinely geared to preventing illness, promoting better health and reducing glaring health inequalities between rich and poor. Government has an important part to play in enabling all individuals to take charge of their own health.'

The King's Fund health policy director Anna Coote said:

'The challenge now is turn knowledge and policy into serious action. This will require new types of local health organisations, different from the conventional doctor's surgery, that provide individuals with knowledge, advice and expertise on how to stay well, with access to treatment and care as a secondary function. And we will also need the right sorts of incentives and leadership across the whole health system from government and public services to the commercial sector and individuals.'

Notes to editors

1. The King's Fund is an independent charitable foundation working for better health, especially in London. We carry out research, policy analysis and development activities, working on our own, in partnerships, and through grants. We are a major resource to people working in health, offering leadership and education courses; seminars and workshops; publications; information and library services; and conference and meeting facilities.

2. For further information or interviews with The King's Fund staff, please contact Daniel Reynolds in the media and public relations office on 020 7307 2581 or 07831 554927, or Beverley Cohen on 020 7307 2632, or Michael Moruzzi on 020 7307 2585.