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Gold, incentives and meh

Obesity project carries no weight

• From Dr Colin Guthrie, Glasgow

I was very pleased to see a page of letters roundly condemning the proposal that GPs should implement the Counterweight programme for obese patients (Letters, 7 September).

Long-term US studies using huge resources have failed to reduce obesity. The patients

who managed a paltry 3kg weight loss in Counterweight will put that on again very quickly as soon as they are discharged.

We need to go upstream and look at the cause of obesity: our obesogenic environment. The treatment of obesity lies with our Treasury – they must pay for proper cycle paths, ban the advertising of unhealthy foods to children and give planning protection to children's play areas so they don't get sold off for flats. Sixty per cent of the

green space used for housing in London in the past 10 years came from the sale of playing fields.

The only way to change behaviour is to give the population healthy choices in a healthy environment.

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