22 May 2023 Labour’s Health Mission: Food Active response
Over the weekend, Labour announced a series of pledges that put prevention and children’s health at the heart of their manifesto for the upcoming general election.
These pledges, set to be part of Labour’s Health Mission, are said to include introducing the long-delayed regulations to restrict less healthy food and drink advertising before 9pm, and similar restrictions online. Other pledges including making physical activity part of the curriculum, cutting cardiovascular disease deaths by a quarter within 10 years, securing the sustainability of the NHS through increasing the workforce and much more.
At a hearing of the Times Health Commission, Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting also stated that Labour is prepared to use the “heavy hand of regulation” in order to force companies to make their foods healthier. This comes as the non-legislative sugar reformulation programme failed to meet the 20% sugar reduction target, coming in at just an average of 3.5% reduction in sugar content per 100g across all categories between 2015-2020.
He also cited the success of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy and said that a similar approach could be taken for other unhealthy food and drink products.
Our Programme Lead, Nicola Calder responds:
It is hugely promising to see prevention, health inequalities and children’s health are a key priority for the Labour Party. We are particularly pleased to see that Labour will take forward important measures to restrict less healthy food and drink advertisements across TV and online platforms, a policy which will play an important role in taking junk food out of the spotlight for our future generations.
We look forward to finding out more detail about Labour’s plans and hope to see other political parties make similar commitments in the run up to the General Election.