The government launches its troubled calorie reduction pledge

23 Mar 2012
Shadow Public Health Minister, Diane Abbott MP comments on the government’s troubled calorie reduction launch:

‘Time and patience is running out for Andrew Lansley and his responsibility deals, which have put big business in the driving seat. Some of the country’s biggest firms have simply decided that they can’t be bothered with it all, which is another humiliating blow for a lame-duck health secretary. As usual it is more about promoting the brands involved than taking real actions to support families in making the right choices about food. None of the promises will happen before the end of 2014. The fight against the obesity epidemic cannot wait two years. We already have the fattest children in Europe.

‘The truth is that this government has prioritised big business over British families, and we are now lumbered with these glorified corporate responsibility schemes camouflaging the fact that real change is not happening. The government needs to get a grip on the basics: better food labelling; protecting children from junk food advertising; ‘a ban on trans-fat; and maintaining school food standards would be a solid start.

‘The government needs to understand that carrying on with the ‘chips and Playstation 3’ culture is not an option. The message from health professionals, key health groups and campaigners like Jamie Oliver is clear: we need tough action now and a proper, long-term strategy to stem rising tide of lifestyle-related problems tomorrow.

‘Part of the “British Promise” that Ed Miliband has spoken must about the expectation that children will enjoy greater health and well-being than their parents. But instead, there is a very real danger that significant numbers of today’s children will live shorter lives than their parents and spend more of their years in poor health.’


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