House of Commons Health Select Committee

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In 2003-2004 a Health Select committee was established to undertake an inquiry into obesity.

The MPs sitting on the committee at that time were:

Special Advisors

The special advisors to the inquiry on obesity were: [1]

  • Professor Ken Fox, Department of Exercise and Health Sciences, University of Bristol.

Scientific Governor and Trustee of the British Nutrition Foundation. Member of Department of Health Scientific Advisory Panel for Social Marketing in Childhood Obesity Project, 2006-7. Senior Scientific Editor of the recent Chief Medical Officer's first report on physical activity and public health. Served for 12 years on the Association for the Study of Obesity Executive Committee. Served on the Foresight Scientific Advisory Panel for Obesity[2]

Was member of expert group alongside Carolyn Summerbell and Susan Jebb, which in March 2007, produced Department of Health commissioned report on obesity issues. [3]

  • Professor Gerard Hastings, Director, Centre for Social Marketing and Centre for Tobacco Control Research, University of Strathclyde.

Director of the Institute of Social Marketing, University of Stirling. Has acted as a Temporary Advisor to the World Health Organization on tobacco and alcohol marketing. Special Advisor to the House of Commons Health Select Committee during their enquiries into the tobacco and food industries. He provides regular guidance on social and critical marketing to the Scottish, UK and European Parliaments. He has also acted as an expert witness in litigation against the tobacco industry.[4]

Chair of the International Obesity TaskforcePrior to the 1997 General Election in the UK, the Labour Party had proposed that a new structure should be developed for the control of food safety and the title “Food Standards Agency “ was used for this concept. On the 7th March 1997, Tony Blair asked Professor Philip James to propose the structure and function of a Food Standards Agency.[5] His interim proposals were completed on the 30th April 1997 and were presented to the new Prime Minister on the 8th May [6] Professor James was involved in the situation with Dr Arpad Pusztai where it was claimed he "gagged" Dr Pusztai over controversial research into GM.[7]

Tim Lang has been Professor of Food Policy at City University since November 2002. He was Director of the Centre for Food Policy at Thames Valley University from 1994 to 2002, before it moved to City University. He was Director of Parents for Safe Food, 1990-1994 and before that Director of the London Food Commission, 1984 to 1990. He is a regular advisor / consultant to the World Health Organization at global and European levels. He has been a special advisor to four House of Commons Select Committee inquiries (food standards [twice], globalisation and obesity). In 2006-07, he was an advisor to the Foresight Obesity programme, and since 2005 has been a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) ‘Food Supply in the 21st Century’ Working Party and team. In 2005-06, he chaired the Scottish NHS Executive’s Scottish Diet Action Plan Review. In 1999-2005 he was Chair of Sustain, the NGO alliance, of which he was a founder member. He has been a Trustee of Friends of the Earth and was Secretary of the Public Health Alliance, predecessor to the UK Public Health Association.[8]

Supplementary research was provided by:


  1. House of Commons Health Committee Third Report Session 2003-2004, 27 May 2004,accessed 4 December 2007
  2. Ken Fox accessed 10 December 2007
  3. MRD Human Research Nutrition, Cambridge; Department of Health The healthy living social marketing initiative: a review of the evidence 12 March 2007, accessed 12 December
  4. Institute for Social Marketing accessed 12 December 2007
  5. Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Reading Website accessed 10 December 2007
  6. FSA Website accessed 10 December 2007
  7. House of Commons House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Minutes 8 March 1999, accessed 12 December 2007
  8. City University Staff Website accessed 10 December 2007