With an emphasis on 'positive well-being', the Dome's approach to health issues isn't rigorously intellectual. But the Tube link is superb. Lyn Whitfield reports

So, the Millennium Dome has made it onto the credits of EastEnders , and tickets for the 'millennium experience' have gone on sale. But what does it look like inside?

The answer, disappointingly, is a tent with a building site in it. Admittedly, a very big tent with a very big building site in it. But a tent, nonetheless. With a building site in it.

Launching the 'body zone' last week, Liam Kane, managing director of the New Millennium Experience Company, was convinced it would be ready for 1 January - and determined to convince a room full of reporters .

He even tried a joke. On page 17 of that day's Sun , he claimed, were 'shock, horror headlines' saying the zone's 60m high figures were going to be 'remodelled' into 'Frank Dobson's shape' so 'we can get more people through'.

But NMEC is 'very happy' with the figures it has. Indeed, Mr Kane thinks they are 'brilliant' and 'destined to become icons' of a visit to the Dome.

The figures may be icons in the making. But they are still in the making.

Workers in climbing harnesses are currently fixing pink and orange tiles to the concrete frames, while their internal attractions, including a massive beating heart, remain hidden from view.

Meanwhile, the 'explore' area around the bodies is a sea of red asphalt with grey bricks marking out a track for exhibits. The explore area will be divided into three themes - 'you and others', 'positive well-being' and 'hopes and fears for the future'. It therefore includes health as it will be represented in the Dome.

The names themselves suggest this means health in its broadest sense.

More women's magazine or high street new age-ism than NHS or Health Education Authority.

This is hardly surprising. The body zone is sponsored by Boots, with support from drug manufacturer Roche and cosmetics giant L'Oreal. So, the 'you and others' section will open with that burning millennial question: 'What is beauty?'

And the much-hyped chance to use digital technology to age your face will include options on seeing what you will look like if you don't use sun lotion - or skin cream.

'Positive health and well-being' will have sections looking at 'medicine and health' and 'lifestyle and health'.

Project manager Andrew Fitch said that 'medicine and health' would be a series of exhibits under 'a cloth like that in an operating theatre'.

They will deal with primary care - 'your doctor and surgery, and how they might change' - new products, medical imaging, computer technology - 'We have a real, live, working computer that simulates a heart' - and the operating theatre 2010.

The last is a 'government initiative' that will raise a lot of 'quite profound questions' such as whether or not people want robot-controlled operations.

If visitors - who are expected to spend between 10 and 30 minutes in the explore area - find that a bit much, they can try 'lifestyle and health'.

This will include a 'relaxation pod', where people will be able to find out about aromatherapy, massage or colour therapy, a 'diet pod' with 'fruit machine-style games' about diet, and an 'exercise pod', where people will have to power the exhibits themselves and lose half the presentation if they stop.

This, said Mr Fitch, would be 'a bit of an incentive' to exercise.

But it is hardly 'take 30 minutes' exercise three times a week', the basic, if admittedly less fun, exciting and interactive, message that health promotion experts try to get across.

Mr Fitch told HSJ that all the exhibits were based on 'content and research' and there would be 'some messages for people'.

The HEA and other groups, including the Institute for Child Health, were used as advisers.

But the HEA says its involvement was limited to initiating a meeting with NMEC and handing over some publications and website addresses.

Since then, a spokesperson says, it has 'not heard anything', although changes to the HEA itself have meant that fuller involvement was 'overtaken by events'.

Mr Fitch said there were also stiff discussions with sponsors about what would appear.

The last element of the explore area, 'hopes and fears', includes a 'behind the scenes' look at how new drugs are developed.

An obesity drug was originally 'on the table' as the focus of this section, but Mr Fitch explained: 'We rejected it because we felt there was a danger of getting into ideas of lifestyle drugs and there were lifestyle issues.'

Saquinavir, an HIV drug, will be featured instead.

Steve Russell, managing director of Boots, said sponsors had not wanted the Dome to become a 'commercial bazaar', although he claimed that the company was involved because 'people in Britain almost expect it'.

'The idea (behind the body zone) is in tune with the times: there is a huge explosion of interest in the way we look and feel, ' he said.

'You can see it on magazines and bookstalls and on the television.

'People want to live more healthily and, crucially, more happily. The body zone picks up on that, and at the turn of the millennium the timing is excellent.'

This has the ring of truth - even if the Dome is a missed opportunity to present something more challenging.

Meanwhile, one Dome rumour can be scotched. It is possible to get to Greenwich by Tube, and the new Jubilee line extension is wonderful.

The station platforms have doors which open only when the train pulls in - so it is impossible to be pushed or jostled over the edge.

A genuine contribution to 'positive well-being' in London.