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‘We must all work together to eradicate obesity’

6th March 2018

Government’s new calorie reduction programme has been launched today, with the food industry being urged to cut calories in their products by 20% by 2024 – and big businesses that fail to make progress will be named and shamed.

Public Health England says the target will reduce costs to the NHS by £4.5bn over 25 years and prevent more than 35,000 premature deaths, with another £4.48bn saved in social care costs.

Kate Anderson, Head of Service Development at ABL Health, said: “Obesity is clearly the biggest public health crisis faced by this country, with one in five children arriving in primary school already obese or overweight. The introduction of measures like the new calorie reduction programme and the sugar levy that was implemented last year are incredibly important in tackling the issue, but the food industry needs to get on board for them to really have an impact.

“It is encouraging that businesses failing to make progress will be named and shamed as the food and drink industry must hold accountability for the products it sells. We must all work together to ensure children have the best start at living a long, healthy life and in eradicating the growing problem of obesity.”

ABL runs the free FAB scheme in central Manchester, Stockport, Hull and Central Lancashire. FAB, which stands for Food, Activity, Balance, supports families in making long-term changes to their lifestyle by helping them to make better choices about what they eat and how to get more active, empowering them to take control.

Trained lifestyle coaches and nutritionists offer advice about topics such as portion size and fussy eating as well as facilitating fun physical activities, to encourage lifelong change.

The organisation also runs Choose to Change Families, a more specialised, in-depth weight management service for families with more complex needs, in St Helens.