Wales politics

Wales suffering obesity epidemic, says health minister

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Media captionHealth Minister Mark Drakeford said public health would benefit if it was mandatory for the food industry to reduce sugar content

Wales is suffering from an "obesity epidemic", Health Minister Mark Drakeford has said.

He is calling for a regulation system to be put in place to cut the amount of sugar in our food.

Mr Drakeford said public health would benefit if it was mandatory for the food industry to reduce sugar content.

While admitting obesity is still a problem, he added smoking levels and the number of youngsters drinking alcohol has dropped.

Speaking to Huw Edwards on The Wales Report, the minister said: "So much of what the health service does today is dealing with the health consequences of people's lives.

'Different choices'

"These need never have happened if they had made different choices earlier in their lives.

"We need to find better ways in which we can act collectively to improve the health of the population.

"And then say to individuals, when we have created the condition in which you are better able to look after your own health, there are higher obligations on you.

"And higher responsibilities to look after your own health so that the health service can do the job you want it to do in future."

He added that the real secret to creating the health service of the future was to "find better ways of avoiding the harms that are avoidable".

Image copyright PA
Image caption Obesity is still a problem in Wales according to Health Minister Mark Drakeford

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