Published: Wed, March 07, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Food industry told to cut calories

Food industry told to cut calories

Health chiefs are calling on businesses to slash 20% from the calorie content of certain foods - including many baked goods - by 2024.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive of PHE, said: "Industry can help families by finding innovative ways to lower the calories in the food we all enjoy and promoting United Kingdom business leadership on the world stage in tackling obesity".

The One You campaign encourages people to only have 400 calories for breakfast, 600 for lunch and 600 for dinner.

Producers have been asked to cut the calories in 13 processed food categories including pizzas, savoury snacks, soups, meats, potato and pasta meals, and "composite" salads such as hummus.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, said: "Industry can help families by finding innovative ways to lower the calories in the food we all enjoy and promoting United Kingdom business leadership on the world stage in tackling obesity".

On average, adults in England eat 200-300 calories more than they need each day, according to Public Health England.

"The industry can help families by finding innovative ways to lower the calories in the food we all enjoy and promoting United Kingdom business leadership on the world stage in tackling obesity", he added.

It has estimated that some overweight or obese boys are consuming up to 500 additional calories a day compared to their normal weight peers.

He said over the past 40 years there had been a "creep" in portion sizes, with pizzas and hamburgers "simply much bigger than they were in our parents' time".

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NHS spends around £6 billion a year treating obesity-related conditions. "Children and adults routinely eat too many calories, and it's why so many are overweight or obese".

"It's encouraging too to see that the government's renewed focus looks not just at the food and drink bought for consumption at home, but also at takeaways, restaurants and cafés". Adults consume on average in excess of 200-300 calories each day, the paper added.

Steve Brine, parliamentary under secretary of state for public health and primary care, said: "Obesity is now one of our greatest challenges".

"We have a responsibility to act, which is why we are supporting families to make the healthy choice. Our calorie reduction programme - the first of its kind from any country in the world - will continue to build on the progress of our world-leading childhood obesity plan, which has led to positive steps by industry".

The campaign hopes to help people make healthier decisions by following a simple system when it comes to calories; 400-600-600.

"To get traction on this, the big-selling things need to change", she said.

'A few healthy options on the end of a menu won't help solve the nation's obesity problem - we need the regular, every day products to change, ' PHE's chief nutritionist Dr Alison Tedstone said.

The next step in the programme involves engagement with the whole food industry, such as retailers, manufacturers, major restaurant, cafe, takeaway, and delivery companies, and health and charity sectors, to develop category guidelines.

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