400-600-600 campaign to be launched to help region's obesity problem

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Public Health England yesterday launched a new campaign calling on businesses to slash 20% from the calorie content of certain foods by 2024.

"Adults consume 200-300 too many calories a day, leading to weight gain and health issues".

Dr Alison Tedstone, PHE's chief nutritionist said in a statement that, "We have more obese children in England than ever before - we have one in five children arriving in primary school already obese or overweight and one in three leaving primary school obese or overweight".

The watchdog wants adults to eat no more than 400 calories for breakfast, 600 for lunch and 600 for dinner in a bid to combat obesity.

Food items such as pizzas, pasta sauces, sandwiches, crisps, dips, soups and sausages are listed to come up with a newly limited, reduced amount of calories.

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Tesco CEO Dave Lewis spoke last week about encouraging healthier eating from his stores at the City Food Lecture, in Guildhall, London, calling for "heavy duty transformational change".

Although the calorie reduction program will devise guidelines for foods consumed by children, adults generally eat the same foods, meaning the program will help all family members reduce calorie consumption, the report states. A four-year-old should consume no more than 1,300, while for males aged 17 and 18 it is about 3,000, but overweight and obese children are consuming up to 500 calories more than that.

UKHospitality said it will continue to liaise with PHE and the Department of Health in pursuit of a "shared ambition" to reduce childhood and adulthood obesity.

The NHS spends around 8.3 billion U.S dollars a year treating obesity-related conditions.

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". "These not only shorten lives, but also put unsustainable pressure on our health service".

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Asking people to make healthy food choices has proved hard; therefore, the new approach is asking the food industry to make this change. "That's why we are challenging the food industry to take 20 percent of the calories out of everyday foods".

"We are also working through our campaign and its partners, to give the public the information they need to help make those choices easier", she added.

"The 20% reduction target is the result of analysis of the new calorie consumption data, experience of sugar and salt reduction programmes, and more than 20 meetings with the food industry and stakeholders".

The next step of this programme will start in mid-2019 and it will involve retailers, manufacturers, major restaurants, cafés, takeaways, delivery companies, and the health and charity sectors.

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