Article

Diabetes in Parliament: 4th – 10th June

Westminster Debates and Legislation

Lords debate low fat diets (obesity)

Thu, 9 June 2016 | Debate – Adjournment and General

Peers debated recent new dietary advice that contradicts recommendations to eat a low-fat diet to tackle obesity.

You can read the transcript here.


MPs debate Diabetes-related complications

Tue, 7 June 2016 | Debate – Adjournment and General

MPs debated Diabetes-related complications.

You can read the transcript here.


House of Commons

Statements

Vaz, K – Diabetes

Thu, 9 June 2016 | House of Commons – Business Statement

Keith Vaz (Leicester East) (Lab)

As the Leader of the House will know, this Sunday marks the start of Diabetes Awareness Week. Will he join me in congratulating Diabetes UK on this important campaign? Although 3 million people have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, including myself, 1 million people still do not know that they have diabetes. May we have a statement next week about the Government’s response to Diabetes Awareness Week? Will the Leader of the House personally show his support—this has nothing to do with the excitement of the EU referendum campaign—and visit a pharmacy or GP in his constituency and have a diabetes test to encourage others to do so?

Chris Grayling

The right hon. Gentleman makes an important point. This is a condition that affects large numbers of people, as he rightly says, and there are people who are not aware that they suffer from diabetes. I will give him that assurance, although probably not over the next two weeks—there is quite a lot on. I will give him a commitment that I will have that test at some point over the next few weeks and months, because that would make an important point. We, as local Members of Parliament, could well follow his suggestion to raise awareness of diabetes in our constituencies.


House of Commons

House of Commons Questions

 Smoking: Obesity – DH – Philip Davies

Thu, 9 June 2016 | House of Commons – Written Answer

Asked by Philip Davies (Shipley) To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the potential link between stopping smoking and obesity levels.

Answered by:
Jane Ellison
Answered on: 09 June 2016

The Department has made no such assessment.

Smoking and obesity are both significant public health challenges and the Government is taking action to tackle both.

We will publish a new tobacco control plan to reduce smoking rates even further and our Childhood Obesity Strategy will be published this summer.


Obesity – DH – Mr Jamie Reed

Wed, 8 June 2016 | House of Commons – Written Answer

Asked by Mr Jamie Reed (Copeland) To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many (a) children and (b) adults in (i) Copeland constituency, (ii) Cumbria and (iii) England are classed as (A) overweight, (B) obese and (C) morbidly obese in each of the last 10 years.

Answered by:
Jane Ellison
Answered on: 08 June 2016

Child and adult overweight and obesity prevalence are not published using parliamentary constituency boundaries. Data is available for the local authorities of Copeland District Council and Cumbria County Council.

Local authority level data on overweight and obese children are collected through the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP). Subnational and national data are available to download from http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB19109 and http://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile/national-child-measurement-programme (Link 1: latest NCMP data, 2014/15, Link 2: trend data from 2006/07 to 2014/15).

Sub-national data on overweight and obese adults are available through the Active People Survey. Data collection on adult height and weight started in 2012, local authority data are not available before this. Subnational and national data are available to download from:

http://www.noo.org.uk/visualisation

There is no published data at local authority level on morbid obesity in adults or children. National prevalence of adult morbid obesity (Body Mass Index > 40kg.m2) is available from the Health Survey for England (1993 to 2014):

http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB19297


Obesity: Children – DH – Michelle Donelan

Mon, 6 June 2016 | House of Commons – Written Answer

  1. Asked by Michelle Donelan (Chippenham) To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether it is planned that the Government’s childhood obesity strategy will include measures restricting the marketing of unhealthy foods to children.
  2. Asked by Michelle Donelan (Chippenham) To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether it is planned that the Government’s childhood obesity strategy will include targets for industry to reduce levels of (a) fat and (b) salt in food and drink.

Answered by:
Jane Ellison
Answered on: 06 June 2016

Our Childhood Obesity Strategy, which will be launched in the summer, will look at everything that contributes to a child becoming overweight and obese. It will set out what more can be done by all.


Soft Drinks: Taxation – HM Treasury – Philip Davies

Mon, 6 June 2016 | House of Commons – Written Answer

Asked by Philip Davies (Shipley) To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what data from which year of the National Diet and Nutrition Survey has beenused to inform the development of the soft drinks industry levy.

Answered by:
Damian Hinds
Answered on: 06 June 2016

A wide range of data shows that children in the UK are consuming too much sugar, and this is a cause of obesity and a driver of obesity-related disease. A single 330ml can of cola may contain 9 teaspoons of added sugar, which is more than a child’s daily recommended intake. This is why the government has announced an industry levy designed to encourage producers to reduce the amount of added sugar in drinks.

The most recent published National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) includes data from 2008 to 2012. It reports that sugar sweetened soft drinks are a major contributor to daily sugar intake for children, accounting for about 30% of the daily sugar intake alone.


Prescriptions: Fees and Charges – DH – Jeff Smith

Thu, 9 June 2016 | House of Commons – Written Answer

  1. Asked by Jeff Smith (Manchester, Withington) To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 26 May 2016 to Question 37876, what (a) number and (b) proportion of penalty charge notices issued between January and December 2015 related only to medical exemption certificates.
  1. Asked by Jeff Smith (Manchester, Withington) To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 26 May 2016 to Question 37876, what (a) number and (b) proportion of total penalty charge notices issued for invalid medical exemption certificates between January 2015 and December 2015 were subsequently retracted when the patient proved their right to exemption.

Answered by:
Alistair Burt
Answered on: 09 June 2016

Between January and December 2015, a total of 34,142 penalty charge notices were issued to patients declaring they held a valid medical exemption certificate, which the National Health Service Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) was unable to verify. This equated to 7.92% of all penalty charge notices issued.

During the same period, a total of 9,170 of these were subsequently retracted when the patient proved their right to exemption. This equated to 26.86% of all penalty charge notices issued for medical exemption certificates.

Often the reason the penalty charge notice is retracted is because the patient has not informed the NHSBSA of a change of address or surname. This means the record of the medical exemption does not match the patient information on the prescription form. If a patient provides details of a valid medical exemption certificate, the penalty charge notice is retracted and the medical exemption record is updated to ensure further notices are not issued in error.

Following the introduction of prescription charge exemption checking, it became apparent some people receiving penalty charge notices had a qualifying medical condition, but had not applied for a medical exemption certificate. In response, a new process was introduced in early spring 2015. This means that if someone submits a valid application for a medical or maternity exemption certificate within 60 days from date of the penalty charge notice, the outstanding penalty charge is cancelled but the prescription charge is still recovered.


Soft Drinks: Taxation – HM Treasury – Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg

Mon, 6 June 2016 | House of Commons – Written Answer

Asked by Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg (North East Somerset) To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an estimate of the potential effect of the soft drinks industry levy on the (a) consumer price index and (b) cost of uprating index-linked benefits; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by:
Damian Hinds
Answered on: 06 June 2016

Since 2010 the Chancellor has adopted the independent economic and public finance forecasts produced by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) as the UK’s official forecasts. The OBR is required to take into account the effect of government policies in its analysis. The OBR sets out its forecasts in its Economic and Fiscal Outlook (EFO), which includes a full breakdown of how the forecast is composed and any explanations.

The OBR’s Economic and Fiscal Outlook document, published at Budget 2016, summarised the OBR’s views. The document noted that the OBR expect the levy to be passed onto the price paid by consumers. On this basis the OBR expected it to add around a quarter of a percentage point to CPI and RPI inflation in 2018-19.

The government maintains that it is up to soft drinks companies how they respond to the levy. If companies reformulate their drinks to contain less sugar – as many are already doing – then they will not have to pay the levy. Companies two years to continue working on this before the levy begins. They do not need to pass the levy onto consumers.


Soft Drinks: Sales – Defra – Philip Davies

Wed, 8 June 2016 | House of Commons – Written Answer

  1. Asked by Philip Davies (Shipley) To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of trends in regular soft drinks sales over the last 10 years.
  2. Asked by Philip Davies (Shipley) To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of soft drinks sales were of (a) regular and (b) diet or low calorie drinks in each of the last 10 years.

Answered by:
George Eustice
Answered on: 08 June 2016

Defra’s Family Food Survey estimates household average expenditure on, and purchased quantities of food and drink. The latest ten years of UK estimates for soft drinks and the proportion of spending on low calorie and regular drinks are shown below. Further estimates going back to 1992 are available in the Family Food Survey which can be found on the GOV.UK website.

UK household expenditure on soft drinks

Average pence per person per week

Description 2005-06 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Soft drinks 77 81 79 81 85 89 93 96 100 95
Soft drinks, concentrated, not low calorie 10 11 10 10 11 10 8 8 8 7
Soft drinks, not concentrated, not low calorie 47 47 47 48 52 52 51 51 52 51
Soft drinks, concentrated, low calorie 2 3 3 3 3 4 6 7 8 8
Soft drinks, not concentrated, low calorie 17 20 20 19 20 23 28 30 32 30
Low calorie 25% 28% 29% 28% 27% 30% 37% 39% 40% 40%
Not low calorie 75% 72% 71% 73% 73% 70% 63% 61% 60% 60%

Soft Drinks: Taxation – HM Treasury – Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg

Mon, 6 June 2016 | House of Commons – Written Answer

Asked by Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg (North East Somerset) To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the soft drinks industry levy on levels of employment; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by:
Damian Hinds
Answered on: 06 June 2016

The government will shortly be consulting on the detail of the soft drinks industry levy, and we will publish an initial impact assessment alongside the consultation. This assessment will be updated and refined when the policy detail is finalised.

For Finance Bill measures, HMRC provide a Tax Impact Information Note alongside the draft Finance Bill legislation, which we expect to publish in the winter.

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