Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Are vested interests keeping us fat?

Powerful and influential food industry lobbies in Australia and New Zealand have set the two countries to fail in stemming their obesity epidemics, according to a new study, led by Professor Boyd Swinburn, professor of population nutrition and global health at the University of Auckland. This story actually appeared in an Asian publication but hardly surprises me. I’ve now been putting my eager, “Healthy Parents, Healthy Baby = fundamental preventive healthcare” toes through the doors of The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, various nation-wide Pharmacy chains, State Health, Federal Health and Shadow Health Departments for over a decade. The net result of all that activity is initial excitement, perception of the value and of the potential, but at the end of the day, a complete lack of resolve and finally, inaction. My approaches to various university research departments have been equally unproductive.

You might think I'd be tempted to chuck it all in and go back to slapping labels on bottles behind the dispensary counter. But I persist! I truly don’t believe this rejection is anything to do with me or my material, which has the potential to improve every aspect of reproductive, infant and adult health! Rather, I believe that lack of widespread take-up is because I have no collateral clout. First of all, my educational content doesn’t align comfortably with the current sickness model that pervades our healthcare system, I’m not able to pay to have my services or products on pharmacy shelves, and of course I don’t have the resources that would allow donations to politicians or political parties. 

All of that said, I remain the eternal optimist. The dark side of inappropriate lobby groups and vested interests are now being exposed on a regular basis and I reckon that the posse of good guys, the true health and wellbeing advocates and educators, are all set to ride into town! Giddyup!!

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