I’m delighted to share that for the next couple of weeks I’ll be touring three major Australian cities, speaking on some of the major health topics of the modern era.
The announcement last week by the British chancellor George Osborne for the introduction of a sugary drinks tax was very welcome news. I have been campaigning for years with others that a tax on sugary drinks would be a major step forward to help combat obesity and many associated chronic diseases. In February 2013, after a year reviewing the evidence the Academy of Medical Royal colleges ( I sat on the steering committee) produced a ten point obesity action plan which included a tax on sugary drinks.
Cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and respiratory disease kill 35 million per year globally. In 2012, the UN advocated a new health goal of reducing avoidable deaths from non-communicable diseases by 25 per cent by 2025. It identified tobacco, alcohol and poor diet as central risk factors.
I am delighted to share that this week I was named in the “Debrett’s 500 most influential people in Britain” featured in the Sunday Times.
Last week I appeared on BBC Breakfast news to discuss calls from the UK’s Academy of Medical Sciences for more preventative medicines. In effect more healthy people to be taking medications to prevent the onset of disease. I have no issue with this as a concept but one of the reasons our current healthcare system is close to breaking point is that we have an overmedicated population with a total lack of transparency in the prescription of drugs. Often benefits are grossly exaggerated and side effects underplayed. If I was going to take a pill every day for many years I would want to know what is my actual benefit and what are/how common are the side effects that may interfere with my quality of life?
Aseem Malhotra is a man on mission. As a campaigner and founding member of the organisation Action on Sugar, set up two years ago by a group of doctors and researchers to publicise the harmful effects of junk food and a high-sugar diet, the 38-year-old cardiologist has certainly been making waves.