Britain launches public health drive

Related tags Public health Nutrition

The British government is expected to release a long-awaited policy
paper on public health today with plans to curb public smoking,
tackle obesity and address the way food companies target children
through advertising.

The white paper, a document that lays out plans to legislate without confirmation of when the laws will be brought in, made the front pages of most national media last weekend, and is being called the biggest shake-up in public health for years.

It is significant in its focus on prevention of illness, rather than treatment and care for the sick, and as a result, will have a major impact on the food industry, increasingly being held responsible for obesity and obesity-related disease.

It will also be influential on public opinion, spelling out more than ever before, the role of a healthy lifestyle including diet in preventing disease.

Current statistics suggest the prevalence of obesity in British children is four times higher today than it was 30 years ago. A 2002 survey found that one in five boys and one in four girls aged two to 15 years old are dangerously overweight.

The new bill will advise a ban on all television advertising for 'junk foods' shown outside school hours and before 9pm in a bid to slow this trend.

Other measures recommended in the paper include a new 'traffic light' labelling system identifying unhealthy foods with a red label, nutritious but high-fat foods, such as cheese, with an orange label and healthy choices with green.

The system, likely to receive criticism from some food manufacturers, would be voluntary. However supermarket chain Sainsbury's has announced it will introduce its own coloured logos to signify healthier options from January.

Competitor Tesco is also said to be looking into a traffic light system based on dietary targets from the World Health Organisation and the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food and Nutrition Policy.

Ministers from other parties were however critical of the voluntary labelling system. Paul Burstow, the Liberal Democrat health spokesman, told the Daily Telegraph: "It will be a mixture of half-measures that will fail to get to grips with the public health crises this country faces. Voluntary labelling of fast food will cause confusion and fail to inform the public."

Related topics Health and nutritional ingredients

Related products

show more

Replacement Isn't the Future. Variety Is.

Replacement Isn't the Future. Variety Is.

Content provided by ADM | 22-Mar-2024 | White Paper

Successfully navigating the intersection of food and technology can help your business meet evolving consumer demands.

Some home truths about real prebiotic dietary fibre

Some home truths about real prebiotic dietary fibre

Content provided by BENEO | 22-Mar-2024 | Product Presentation

Confused about prebiotics? You’re not the only one! Food developers wanting to work with prebiotic dietary fibre are faced with an abundance of products...

Consumer Attitudes on Ultra-Processed Foods Revealed

Consumer Attitudes on Ultra-Processed Foods Revealed

Content provided by Ayana Bio | 12-Jan-2024 | White Paper

Ayana Bio conducted the Ultra-Processed Food (UPF) Pulse survey, offering insight into consumers’ willingness to consume UPFs, as well as the variables...

Future Food-Tech San Francisco, March 21-22, 2024

Future Food-Tech San Francisco, March 21-22, 2024

Content provided by Rethink Events Ltd | 11-Jan-2024 | Event Programme

Future Food-Tech is the go-to meeting place for the food-tech industry to collaborate towards a healthier food system for people and planet.

Related suppliers

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars