Nutrition food

Experts are sounding the alarm over the UK’s backsliding on nutritional food policy

September 15, 2022 — As the UK government fears abandoning recently introduced health and nutrition policies, researchers are increasingly concerned that the country is no longer focused on dietary advice and the importance of curb obesity.

Fears are growing because British Prime Minister Liz Truss may be about to do an about-face on a policy that is supposed to ban the promotion of foods high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS).

Researchers and experts from several health organizations call this a “step backwards” and say the anticipated calorie reductions that were part of the policy to be implemented will be only a fraction of what was planned.

“Delaying these policies will, once again, leave public health practitioners and clinicians fighting obesity with less effective approaches that focus on individual volition and the provision of information,” said Dr Sally Moore, professor at the University of Leeds (United Kingdom) and co-author of the prospectus, tells NutritionInsight.

“The government’s decision will delay the much-needed transformation of retail food environments and their promoted products, both of which have a big influence on the foods people buy and eat,” says Moore.

“The government’s obesity strategy measures, which have been endorsed by successive Prime Ministers, have been designed not only to improve our health, but also to save the country millions of dollars in lost income and health costs. preventable health,” said Ben Reynolds, CEO of Sustain. “Can we really afford to remove them?

Moreover, the researchers of a prospectus, published in the journal Obesityargue that inaction and delays in implementation will only serve to aggravate growing inequalities in food quality and increase the country’s already soaring obesity levels.

Protect childrenThe UK government, under its new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, appears set to reverse its policy on HFSS foods.
The new regulations were originally meant to restrict promotions of less healthy foods in supermarkets and included a ban on all HFSS TV ads and paid online ads before 9 p.m.

These policies were intended to protect children, a demographic that has proven to be more susceptible to such publicity and is already experiencing a massive increase in HFSS diet-related illnesses and diseases.

“It is deeply alarming that the new government is seriously considering abandoning the Conservatives’ flagship evidence-based policies that were introduced to improve children’s health and enjoy strong public support,” said Barbara Crowther, spokesperson for the Children’s Food Campaign.

“More than 2,000 school breakfast clubs, school holiday programs feeding a million children and PE and sports equipment for primary schools have been funded with the £300m (£346m dollars) raised annually by the success of the soft drink industry levy,” she explains.

“Why would the government waste time and resources undoing a well-functioning program when our healthcare system, our children and our schools are in such dire need of funds and access to healthy food in this time of crisis? national crisis?

“To eat less”
Since the goal of the policies was to change retail food practices to promote less healthy food options and to modify those practices to promote healthier options, the researchers argue that delaying these policies will only serve to make the public less healthy. The researchers argue that willpower alone will not protect the public from the effects of HFSS foods.

There are also concerns that the government is using the current global economic situation, which it says is unprecedented, to justify the delays and appears to be reverting to trust in individual will, which has already proven ineffective despite the proclamation of Boris Johnson that everyone should “just eat less”.

“Willpower alone cannot explain successful weight management,” said Dr. Tom Butler, another study co-author and professor at Edge Hill University, UK. “Delaying these policies will, once again, leave public health and clinical practitioners to tackle obesity with less effective approaches that focus on individual will and information delivery.”

“Now, more than ever, people in the UK need fair access to healthy and affordable food and this can only be achieved with policies designed to rebalance our food system,” says Professor Graham MacGregor, Chairman of ‘Action on Sugar and Action on Salt.

“Our new Prime Minister must also honor (Johnson’s) promise to upgrade and protect the nation’s health from the devastating effects of unhealthy diets high in saturated fat, salt and sugar – and lacking in fruits and vegetables – which is the leading cause of death and disability. globally and cost the UK over £100bn (US$115m) a year,” he concludes.

“Current levels of obesity in the UK are unacceptably high, and the amount of saturated fat, sugars and salt we consume exceeds that recommended for health,” Moore points out.

“One solution to this is to help people buy and eat healthier foods by making these products accessible and affordable through transforming retail environments and price and volume promotions.”

By William Bradford Nichols

This feature is provided by FoodIngredientsFirstsister site of, NutritionInsight.

To contact our editorial team, please email us at [email protected]

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