An open letter has been sent by leading doctors to Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt urging a focus on good diet over unproven drugs in order to prevent major health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
A wealth of research studies in recent years have shown benefits of eating a Mediterranean diet including reducing the risks of type 2 diabetes, dementia and cancer, which each have a very large impact on the country’s health budget.
Author and organiser of the letter, Simon Poole critiques the government’s reliance on unproven drugs to tackle these problems noting: “It is all about looking at what pharmaceutical companies can do, which is actually not very much. They talk up their medicine and then it is very often a damp squib.”
The letter also notes that whilst drugs are used to treat individual conditions, diet can have health advantages in preventing and helping to manage a wide array of health conditions.
Dr Poole points out that parts of the diet, such as fresh fish and olive oil can be expensive but that a Mediterranean diet “need not be more expensive than the standard diet most of us have”. Many UK families will, however, view this particular statement as being overly optimistic and recent figures from earlier this month even show that around 18% of the population are battling with food poverty.
The letter, which has been sent to Prime Minister, David Camero, has been signed by doctors including Professor Clare Gerada (former chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners), Professor David Haslam (chairman of the National Obesity Forum).
In addition to being a leading GP, Dr Simon Poole is company Director of Positively Good for You a company that sells olive oils.

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