In 1950 less than 1% of British people were obese. Today that figure is 28%. We spend £3.9 billion each year on confectionery compared to £2.4 billion on fruit and vegetables. Diet-related disease is now the biggest cause of preventable illness and death in the developed world.
How did we get to this situation? According to Henry Dimbleby, every bite we take is informed by the invisible machinations of the vast, complex global food system. And in March 2023 he came to Intelligence Squared to talk about his new book Ravenous: How To Get Ourselves And Our Planet Into Shape. Few people know the food system better than Dimbleby, who is co-founder of the Leon restaurant chain and author of the National Food Strategy, and who recently quit his role as the government’s food tsar over its inaction over obesity. In conversation with Times columnist Alice Thomson, he explained the damage our food ecosystem is doing to us and to the planet, and he will set out his strategy for creating a truly healthy and sustainable food system.
‘A brilliant readable guide on how to reverse our food, obesity and climate crisis – a must-read.’ – Professor Tim Spector
‘Food should be a source of joy, but the way we eat is leading us into disaster. This is a delicious, highly digestible guide to building a better food system, for the sake of our bodies and our planet.’ – Prue Leith
‘Economists like me often say that, in public policy, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Henry Dimbleby’s book provides not only a free lunch for the nation, but a healthy one.’ – Andy Haldane, former chief economist of the Bank of England