Levels of obesity across the UK are too high. About 1 in 10 children are obese as they start school, and this doubles by year 6. Obesity rates are also twice as high in the most deprived areas compared to the least. UK’s food and drink manufacturers are committed to supporting the UK Government’s ambition to halve childhood obesity by 2030.

FDF members demonstrate their commitment by investing in reformulation and healthier options; offering appropriate portion size options; and providing clear labelling. To help us, we need governments to use a proportionate, evidence-based policy framework. This must avoid costly new regulatory barriers or restrictions that threaten future investments and the launch of the very products we are being encouraged to make.

EnglandScotlandWales and Northern Ireland all have plans to tackle obesity. We work with all the administrations, responding to key consultations and advising on how food manufacturers can help governments to tackle this problem.

Future milestones and updates

Out of Home Calorie Labelling Guidance Published

Update

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has published the implementation guidance to calorie labelling in the out of home sector.

The guidance document illustrates how the provisions of The Calorie Labelling (Out of Home Sector) (England) Regulations 2021 (the Regulations) work and covers the businesses in scope, food in scope, displaying calorie information, calculating calorie content, enforcement and annexes detailing how calorie labelling can be used as part of a wider set of measures to provide healthier choices and tackle obesity.

The Regulations will come into force from 6 April 2022.

UK chosen to lead new Sugar and Calorie Reduction Network

Update

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has chosen the UK to lead a new Sugar and Calorie Reduction network to take global action on sugar and calorie reduction. The Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Chris Whitty, announced the formation of the network. The UK has seen good progress in sugar reduction and will be using its world-leading expertise in domestic sugar and calorie reduction to support European countries.

The new network’s member states will share learning and technical expertise to encourage manufacturers to reformulate products, reducing the amount of sugar and calories in food and drink. The WHO Sugar and Calorie Reduction Network will launch in spring 2022. Find out more

New body to tackle health disparities will launch 1 October, co-headed by new Deputy Chief Medical Officer

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced the launch of a new Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID). The OHID will launch on 1st October with the aim of tackling health inequalities across the country.

 

Across the UK, health disparities have a clear impact on people’s ability to work and live long healthy, independent lives while also increasing pressure on public services such as the NHS. The OHID will tackle the top preventable risk factors for poor health including obesity. Along with improving access to health services across the country and coordinate with government departments to address the wider drivers of good health. It will be led by the new Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy and Jonathan Marron the DHSC Director General for the OHID.

Legislation on out of home calorie labelling in England

Regulation to introduce calorie labelling in the out of home sector in England were laid in Parliament on 12 May.

The rules will require large out-of-home sector businesses (with 250+ employees), including cafes, restaurants and takeaways, to display the calorie information of non-prepacked food and soft drink items that are prepared for customers.  Calorie information will need to be displayed at the point of choice for the customer, such as physical menus, online menus, food delivery platforms and food labels.

The measures will be debated ahead summer recess and will come into force from April 2022 subject to parliamentary approval.

News

The Food and Drink Federation responds to the Queen's Speech

The FDF has issued the following press release...

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FDF Cymru manifesto - Achieving success for Welsh food and drink

The Welsh food and drink manufacturing industry is an exceptional success story, with nearly 600 businesses employing over 24,000 people. As the sector faces up to the challenge of recovery, we are committed to working with the next Welsh Government to realise the potential of the sector.

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Ulrick & Short partner up with Food and Drink Federation Scotland

Ulrick & Short are working alongside the Food and Drink Federation Scotland's Reformulation for Health programme to provide ingredient solutions for healthy reformulations of bakery and meat products.

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