Which? call for the Government to do more for public health

A new Which? survey shows that people don’t think the Government is doing enough for public health. Just 28 per cent of people are satisfied that it is taking enough action to help people eat healthily. One year on from the launch of the Responsibility Deal, Which? does not believe that the current approach is good enough to tackle the challenges we are facing. They believe there has to be a radical change of pace that tackles the barriers to healthier eating in a more meaningful way. 

In the next six months, Which? is calling for the Government to:

  • Demand that all food companies use traffic light nutrition labelling: this approach works best, is preferred and enables people to see what they are buying.
  • Establish 2014 salt reduction targets: there has been progress made on salt, but further reductions are needed and more sign up - particularly from caterers.
  • Introduce a robust pledge for sugar and fat reductions: the calorie reduction pledge is vague and should focus on products that contribute most fat and sugar.
  • Make saturated fat a priority: given the rate of heart disease in the UK, incentives for saturated fat reductions and timelines for meeting them are needed
  •  Ban artificial trans fats: there has been a lot of voluntary action but it’s time to finish off the job and ensure trans fats are removed from all foods.
  • Require calorie labelling in chain restaurants: if calories aren’t displayed voluntarily in chain restaurants by September 2012, the Government must legislate.
  • Put pressure on companies to be responsible in their promotions: commitments are needed to ensure that products high in fat, sugar and salt are not actively and aggressively promoted to children and that price promotions are balanced.
  • Improve food in public institutions: standards are needed to improve food across public institutions, including hospitals.

They also want to see the responsibilities for nutrition and food labelling put back in the Food Standards Agency to ensure that policy is independent, open and joined up with other food issues.

Full report can be downloaded here