Boris' new obesity plan
We welcome the government's new obesity strategy which sweeps up many of the actions outstanding from the various chapters of the Childhood Obesity Plan.
The new strategy, 'Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to lead healthier lives', is a direct response to evidence linking obesity to an increased risk from COVID-19.
We are pleased to see that the strategy includes important steps towards cleaning up our food environment to make healthy eating easier:
- Ban on TV and online adverts for food high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) before 9pm
- End of deals like ‘buy one get one free’ on unhealthy food high in salt, sugar and fat
- A ban on HFSS products being placed in prominent locations in stores, such as at checkouts and entrances, and online
- Shops will be encouraged to promote healthier choices and offer more discounts on food like fruit and vegetables
- A consultation to gather views and evidence on the current ‘traffic light’ labelling system
The government is going further on advertising with a short consultation on how to introduce a total HFSS advertising restriction online. They state that "It is our intention to implement both TV and online measures at the same time, and we will aim to do this by the end of 2022."
The strategy makes reference to the success of the Sugary Drinks Industry Levy but makes not suggestion that the levy will be extended to other products which is disappointing but this is a great start and indicates robust action on obesity.
Next stop, the National Food Strategy Part One which will outline (amongst other things) recommendations to ensure the most disadvantaged children get the nutrition they need. An exiting week ahead!
In other news ...
Research from think tank Demos has revealed that people want the Government to provide free school meals (FSM) during school holidays after the pandemic. People also support universal FSM (UFSM).
The latest data on free school meals (FSM) shows a large spike in eligibility since the pandemic.
Since the Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF) was announced, an alliance of organisations has formed to help local authorities (LAs) make the most of the funding provided.