United Kingdom unveils plans to slash calorie content to curb obesity

Henrietta Brewer
March 8, 2018

These significantly contribute to children's calorie intake and include ready meals, pizzas, savoury snacks and "on-the-go" deals.

She added that obesity was a "burden" on the NHS - costing the health service around £6.1 billion spent on treating obesity-related illness - and also increasing social care costs.

Public Health England said adults were consuming on average 200 to 300 calories more than they need to a day - which can build up over time and cause unhealthy weight gain.

'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 simple truth is on average we need to eat less".


PHE say if the 20% target is met within 5 years, more than 35,000 premature deaths could be prevented and around £9 billion in NHS healthcare and social care costs saved over a 25 year period.

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".

"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".

Girls were consuming 160 to 290 calories too much compared to those with healthy body weights.

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


"To help support businesses, previous year we produced an Industry Nutrition Guide to help every chef and catering manager in the United Kingdom provide healthier choices for customers".

"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".

That is that people should aim to eat 400 calories for breakfast, 600 calories for lunch and 600 calories for dinner.

To make things easier for those trying to stay within the recommended calorie intakes (which are 2,500 a day for men and 2,000 for women), Public Health England suggests you use the 400-600-600 rule for your meals. "That is why we are challenging the food industry to take 20 per cent of the calories out of everyday foods, building on their good work on salt and promising announcements on sugar".

The health body pledged to hold the food industry to account and said that it will highlight calorie reduction progress among manufacturers or retailers.


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