70 health charities call on PM to reconsider HFSS backtracking plans

Members of the Obesity Health Alliance and health professionals have sent an open letter to Prime Minister Liz Truss, urging the government to rethink their plans to axe upcoming promotions on high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) products.

The letter follows recent news that the UK government may scrap all of its anti-obesity strategies and cancel planned restrictions on pre-watershed HFSS ads.

Signed by 70 health charities, medical organisations and health professionals, including the British Medical Association, British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK, the letter states its signatory feels “profound concern that measures to promote children’s health may be abandoned.”

The letter states: “Cutting preventable illness is crucial if the Government is going to tackle the NHS backlog, realise its targets to halve childhood obesity by 2030 and deliver on levelling up, as poor diet is a key driver of regional health inequalities.”

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A review on the upcoming ban of HFSS promotions and advertising comes as the government looks to reduce burdens on businesses and help shoppers through the cost of living crisis, as reported by The Guardian.

However, in response to this, the letter said: “We share your concerns about the cost of living, but the OECD has found that average tax bills were £300 per year higher in countries with high levels of obesity.”

The British Medical Association’s board of science chair, David Strain, who signed the open letter said: “It’s deeply disappointing to see the new government threaten to throw away the progress we have made tackling obesity without any evidence it would do anything to help alleviate the impact of the cost of living crisis.”

“This sort of short-term thinking threatens not only the government’s target to halve childhood obesity by 2030 but the NHS itself, as obesity-related preventable illnesses mount up in the absence of any discernible strategy to prevent them.”



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