Graham MacGregor is Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine and honorary consultant physician at St George's Hospital, London. He is a visiting Professor at St George’s Hospital Medical School, London.
He is also the chairman of Action on Sugar and Consensus Action on Salt & Health.
On what action the food industry should take to combat obesity, he said: “It’s quite clear that the food industry in the UK can quite easily reformulate food so they can have less calories by reducing sugar and fat as we’ve suggested and also do a lot of other activities which will help stop this crisis and obesity and type 2 diabetes. We’re calling on the food industry – supermarkets as well – to do this and start doing it straight away.
“We just need to get an original system – like the Food Standards Agency – so there’s a proper level playing field. It doesn’t make sense for the food industry to produce products that are killing us because dead consumers don’t eat food – if they gave us more healthy food we’d live longer, they’d have more consumers and they’d make more money.”
On the impact of unhealthy foods on consumers, he said: “We are faced by a global pandemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes and this is entirely due to ultra-processed fast foods that are very high in sugar, fat and salt and sweetened soft drinks.
“None of these give any feeling of fullness or satiation. Just to illustrate that, one Big Mac, a large chips and a big Coca-Cola is equivalent in calories to 14 oranges or 10 bananas. Now you try eating 10 bananas, but you could easily have a Big Mac and so on and then feel hungry two hours later.”