New PHE anti-obesity plan puts calories back on the agenda

18 August 2017
calorieschildrenlegislationPHEreformulationsugar
image credit: Julos/iStock/thinkstock.co.uk

Public Health England (PHE) has said it will set the “ambition for the calorie-reduction programme” to “remove excess calories” from the foods children consume the most.

PHE said ready meals, pizzas, burgers, savoury snacks and sandwiches are the products most likely to be included in the programme.

image credit: DragonImages/iStock/thinkstock.co.uk

The proposal builds on PHE’s childhood obesity plan, which was launched last year and focused primarily on sugar reduction. Which, in hindsight, didn’t go far enough. PHE CEO Duncan Selbie suggested the root cause of rising obesity levels in children is “an excess of calories – not just an excess of sugar consumption.”

In response, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has said that it “has long advocated this ‘whole diet’ approach. Singling out the role of individual ingredients and food groups does not help consumers to make good choices about their diet, lifestyle or general health.”

They added that food and drink makers have a “proud track record” of reformulating products to reduce their salt, fat and sugar content.

In summary: reformulation is on the horizon. And you can blame those pesky kids.

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