On Tuesday, I thought the government was at last thinking along joined-up lines in the obesity debate.

A bonkers study conducted at a Plymouth hospital, which suggested that the amount of exercise children undertake had nothing to do with access to sports facilities or the encouragement of an active lifestyle, had failed to secure government funding. A good thing too, as the conclusion of the study (though of course it was six years from completion) was that exercise was genetically pre-conditioned, and that obesity, once again, would be the fault of the food manufacturers.

(This pursuit of a pre-determined agenda is also seen regularly among the coven of closely connected lobbying groups that we look at in our continuing Weigh It Up! campaign coverage (see p32).)

So: a dose of common sense from Health Minister Caroline Flint? Earlier this month - and three years on from the publication of the government's Choosing Health White Paper, when Flint promised to spend £50m on a social marketing programme that would consider and tackle all the causes of obesity - the Public Accounts Committee accused the minister of being a spendthrift: committing nothing in support of the 2010 Government targets to halt obesity in under-11s.

But I still held out hope. A seven-point social marketing strategy document was doing the rounds before Christmas, looking at everything from babymilk to parental influence on children's eating habits, overcoming children's and parents resistance to healthier foods, as well as ways to increase physical activity in children. Then, on Thursday, Flint announced that the seven-point strategy had been abandoned. The new plan? We're back to pushing 5-a-Day and 10 Top Tips for Mums. How comprehensive is that? A £7bn problem reduced to an anorexic pamphlet.