Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s consultation

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Our response to the government's consultation paper on prevention focuses on the last question in the consultation, 'What other areas (in addition to those set out in the green paper) would you like future government policy on prevention to cover?'. 

We welcome many of the specific proposals, including the commitment to ban energy drink sales to those under the age of 16, better use of data to support prevention, moves towards a tobacco-free society and the commitment to ensuring health is our most precious asset, including the development of a ‘composite health index’ to rank alongside GDP in government decision-making.

But taken as a whole, it is not clear from the consultation paper how these announcements will meet the government’s goal outlined in the Ageing Society Grand Challenge of: ‘at least five extra healthy, independent years of life by 2035 while narrowing the gap between the experience of the richest and poorest’. It lacks the scale and ambition to tackle the significant public health challenges facing the nation including stalling life expectancy, high levels of obesity and deep and widening health inequalities.