During his 10-year tenure as Portsmouth’s director of public health, Paul Edmondson-Jones has witnessed a lot of changes.
That makes him the ideal candidate to speak out about the city’s health issues and what might happen in the future.
While it’s clear that Dr Edmondson-Jones has achieved a great deal during his time here, he’s clearly aware that when it comes to a role such as the one he’s vacating, there’s always plenty more to be done.
And today he highlights something that should concern us all – we’re in the grip of an obesity epidemic that desperately needs to be halted in its tracks.
With the kind of plain-speaking that is called for when dealing with these matters, he points out that you can’t force people to diet.
We agree with him whole-heartedly on that point. The past has taught us that there are many health warnings people should have heeded but haven’t. But that should never stop us from hammering home important health messages in the hope that some people – if not all – will listen.
Dr Edmondson-Jones is also quite right to highlight the fact that we live in an area blessed with a seafront and a common that lend themselves to exercise.
Upping the amount of time we spend doing some sort of physical activity doesn’t have to cost a fortune but can make the world of difference to our health.
All parents have a responsibility to encourage their children to lead healthy lives.
Let’s not forget that this country spends billions of pounds every year on treating those who have health problems caused by the lifestyle choices that they have made.
The NHS simply doesn’t have an endless pit of cash to step in and treat all of those who’ve made unwise health choices. It’s vital that we invest some personal responsibility into looking after our own health.
We thank Dr Edmondson-Jones for all his hard work and wish him well in the future. And we hope that his successor is ready for the challenge.