A Wigan takeaway owner has responded furiously after a leading medical journal suggested poor diet kills almost as many people as smoking.
Ed Jennings, who runs Thai establishment Siam House in Standish, was left indignant by reports suggesting the number of takeaways opening was leading to a boom in junk food which meant almost one in six deaths can now be linked to unhealthy eating.
Mr Jennings said many takeaway businesses were offering healthy meals or ones that could be enjoyed without fear as part of a balanced diet, and it was unfair for the whole industry to be linked solely to deep-fat fryers and expanding waistlines.
The borough’s public health director Professor Kate Ardern also spoke about the efforts taking place locally to ensure Wiganers are living healthy, active lifestyles.
Mr Jennings said: “I was listening to the radio and it was talking about takeaways overtaking smoking and heart disease as a cause of death and speaking to people from Wigan.
“It all seemed very close to home when our ethos from the beginning has been to cook fresh, healthy food.
“They were tarring everybody in the industry with the same brush as though all takeaways are bad, which they are clearly not.
“A small amount of fat in moderation isn’t bad for you, it’s about having a healthy, balanced diet. We also use ingredients like Thai herbs, ginger, coriander and galangal which have a lot of health benefits.”
Wigan Council also pointed out the work that is going on in the borough to ensure people are living healthy lives with enough exercise and the right foods.
Prof Ardern said: “Making sure we have the right services in place so that our residents can easily access support and advice on their diet is really important to us.
“All services offer support and advice about healthy eating, physical activity and behaviour change, tailored to meet people’s needs to help them lose weight and keep it off for good.
“Our Let’s Get Movin’ programme has received national recognition. It encourages children to adopt a healthy way of living and teaches them the benefits of eating healthily and exercising, also educating parents.
“We know if we start early we can make physical activity and health eating the norm, and work towards our vision of prevention of ill-health.
“Our work through the Daily Mile further demonstrates our commitment to tackling health and wellness.
“We remain committed to improving health in Wigan borough, to make sure every child has the best possible start, and adults can lead long, healthy lives.”