Happy New Year! It still isn't too late to exchange a New Year greeting or to set yourself a new year resolution even though more than three weeks of 2016 has already whizzed by. As a natural optimist I enjoy this time of year and along with many I am busy working on my 2016 goals, the preeminent one being to lose weight, get fitter and look after my health more through exercise and healthy eating. I have already done a cycle ride from London to Brighton and am currently even flirting with the idea of training to take part in my first ever triathlon.
With record numbers of adults and children suffering from obesity and inactivity that results in an annual bill to the NHS of billions of pounds it is clear that something urgently must be done. So congratulations to all those I see exercising in the park or who are sticking to that new diet and learning to cook new healthy recipes. This is not however sufficient to tackle the crisis. The government needs to take action to deal with the villain of the piece - sugar. Notwithstanding the arguments about a sugar tax being regressive - which it is - I believe the government should act decisively and introduce it not least because it is the poorest families most impacted by obesity and ill health.
Prevention is better than cure but when we are ill we need a first class health service including local hospitals with proper A&Es that can give us and our loved ones the best chance of surviving any major health challenge. Which is why in 2016 Ealing Council will continue the fight to protect our local hospitals. We commissioned the Independent Healthcare Commission chaired by Michael Mansfield QC that has recently produced its final report which I would recommend you read - www.lbhf.gov.uk/healthcarecomission
We must protect our own health, our local hospitals and NHS. I'll be doing that by pounding the streets to get Dr Onkar Sahota and Sadiq Khan elected to City Hall in May.