Why business should be involved in public health

The government's decision to involve major food producers of goods ranging from fruit juice and cereal to crisps and chocolate, in public health planning has come under fire from health campaigners.

But in this week's Scrubbing Up column, Richard Evans, head of PepsiCo in the UK argues it's better for them to be "at the table".

Getting the food industry involved in improving public health has attracted criticism. But it's important for companies like ours to be part of the solution instead of being written off as the cause of the problem.

At face value, it might look counter-intuitive to ask food companies to help devise solutions for obesity but at the end of the day we have resources and expertise that can make a profound difference.

Our industry has the know-how to help improve people's diets; improving the formulation of products will change the salt, fat, sugar and fibre intakes of hundreds of thousands of people. And that is what we are doing. Like government, non-governmental organisations, the public and our industry peers, we are acutely aware of current public health issues.

We believe there is shared responsibility to take positive action that will instigate change and that this is not only the right thing to do but also the commercially savvy thing to do.

Source - BBC