Front and Centre: Labelling Works
Blog for by Mhairi Brown, Policy and Public Affairs Manager for Action on Salt and Sugar
At Action on Salt and Sugar, our key aim is reducing population salt, sugar and excess calorie intake to improve health. We know the most impactful and cost-effective method to do this is reformulation: improving food and drinks by taking out salt, sugar and saturated fat, while ideally increasing levels of fibre, fruit and vegetables. So much of the salt and sugar we eat has already been added to food and drinks available in supermarkets, corner shops, cafes, restaurants, fast food outlets… by simply getting the food industry to play their part and make this food healthier, we can have a huge impact on health.
But while reformulation may be our modus operandi, we also support other policies that can help improve the nutritional quality of food and drinks... read more here
Queen’s Speech addresses key obesity prevention plans
Blog for Open Access Government by Mhairi Brown, Policy and Public Affairs Manager for Action on Salt and Sugar
The Queen’s words were slightly unexpected for those working tirelessly to prevent ill health – I say unexpected because the food industry has heavily lobbied against these policies since they were announced back in 2018. The government kept their cards hidden until the last moment before showing their winning hand. But anyone with experience of policymaking knows that it’s not over until it’s over – it is more important than ever for the Government to stand strong and get these policies over the line as promised.
The world around us affects how we eat. Ideally, eating a healthy, balanced diet would be a choice without influence, but the reality is less healthy food and drinks take centre stage. All too often it’s the less healthy options that are most accessible.. read more here
What’s on the menu? Calorie Information – as the Government finally commits to transparent nutrition labelling in the OOH sector
Blog for Obesity Health Alliance by Katharine Jenner, Campaign Director of Action on Salt and Sugar
Despite years of heavy lobbying from the hospitality industry, the government has shown it is serious about addressing obesity and improving dietary health by introducing a number of evidence-based structural policies that are targeting food and drink businesses, rather than placing responsibility solely on the individual. One key policy is calorie (kcal) labelling on all food and drink for larger businesses in the out of home (OOH) sector in England.
Although we all have a right to know what’s in our food, this policy is about much more than just providing information, so let's llook behind the label... read more here
Salt Reduction Saves Lives - So Why Is It Being Pushed Aside?
Blog for Open Access Government by Mhairi Brown, Policy and Public Affairs Manager of Action on Sugar and Action on Salt
It’s been several years since Sid, a large cartoon slug created by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), delivered his hard hitting, yet necessary, message across TV, radio and billboards - too much salt is bad for your heart. The slug proved to be very effective, with a big increase in the number of consumers trying to cut down on salt and using food labelling to check salt levels in food. Behind the scenes, the FSA accompanied their effective public awareness campaign with a successful model to reduce salt levels in food, based on voluntary reduction targets set across all processed food containing added salt.
The result? Our salt intake fell.. read more here
Who should tackle the biggest cause of premature death when PHE is gone?
Blog for Open Access Government by Katharine Jenner, Campaign Director and Mhairi Brown, Policy and Public Affairs Manager of Action on Sugar and Action on Salt
In 2002, Derek Wanless gave HM Treasury a vision of what our health system could be like in 2022, a future where ‘levels of public engagement in relation to their health are high. Life expectancy increases go beyond current forecasts, health status improves dramatically and people are confident in the health system and demand high-quality care. The health service is responsive with high rates of technology uptake, particularly in relation to disease prevention. Use of resources is more efficient.’
The scenario illustrated that lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking, increased physical activity and better diet could have a major impact... Read more here
Why a total restriction on ads for high fat, salt, sugar (HFSS) products is needed on social media?
By Dr Kawther Hashem RNutr (Public Health) - Campaign Lead, Action on Sugar
Have a think about how many food related decisions you make every day. How many of these decisions do you think are influenced by what you are seeing, right here on Instagram/social media (change according to where it is posted)?
We make over 200 decisions about the food we eat consciously and unconsciously, and every day we are bombarded with encouragement and opportunity to choose the less healthy options... Read more here
Salt: The forgotten pandemic
Blog for Open Access Government by Mhairi Brown, Policy and Public Affairs Manager for Action on Salt and Action on Sugar
COVID-19 has completely changed life in the UK and has quite rightly demanded our attention and action to protect our loved ones, communities and businesses. But way before this, there was the forgotten pandemic i.e. eating too much salt (and otherwise known as the silent killer) which leads to thousands of needless, preventable deaths each year.
Extensive research from leading experts around the world has found that too much salt leads to... Read more here
Defining ‘healthy’ food advertising ahead of the 9pm watershed
Blog for Open Access Government by Katharine Jenner, Campaign Director of Action on Salt and Sugar
One of the classic tactics employed by food industry lobbyists to undermine policy proposals that aim to restrict how they push their unhealthy food is to focus on ludicrous-sounding examples that make us doubt the validity of the approach.
We all know that ‘doubt’ is a classic tactic used by the smoking and carbon-emissions industries – whilst there is doubt, debate or ‘theory’... Read more here
Q&A on the Scorecard: 2020, The road to preventing obesity
Q&A with Mhairi Brown, Policy and Public Affairs Manager for Action on Salt and Action on Sugar
Why did you write to the Prime Minister this week? Can you tell us more about the Childhood Obesity Plan? Why are you asking for action now, if the strategy was released in 2016? Which of the measures would have the biggest impact? Are all of these measures likely to be approved? But why are these measures even needed - doesn't everyone know not to eat or drink unhealthy products? Even so - will the public accept being told what to do? Find the answers to these questions here
Hungry for change: fixing the failures in food
Blog by Mhairi Brown, Policy and Public Affairs Coordinator for Action on Salt and Action on Sugar
The House of Lords Select Committee on Food, Poverty, Health and the Environment have today released their timely report ‘Hungry for change: fixing failures in food’- the culmination of their inquiry into the links between inequality, public health... (Click here to read more)
Racial Disparities in the UK's Health System
Blog for New Food Magazine by Sheena Bhageerutty ANutr, Nutritionist, Action on Salt and Sugar.
We are in a state of transition, somewhat grieving our old lives and slowly evolving into the new norm. During this uncomfortable period, I have tried to keep active and exercise my brain as much as possible.
Earlier this month, the Global Nutrition Report 2020 was published, revealing significant inequalities in nutrition outcomes... read more here
Reducing obesity and improving health during the COVID-19 pandemic
Blog for Open Access Government by Zoe Davies ANutr, Nutritionist, Action on Salt and Sugar.
Obesity is not a new topic of discussion – with one in three adults in England having obesity1. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has formed part of a different discussion on what factors put an individuals’ health most at risk from the impact of this virus. Furthermore, the Prime Minister has been rumoured to have shown a new interest in reducing... read more here
COVID-19 and the New Normal
Blog by Holly Gabriel RNutr, Nutrition Campaigner, Action on Sugar
We are living in strange times (I avoid the use of the word ‘unprecedented’ for fear of losing you in the first sentence). I am writing this blog from home as so many of us are, struggling to find space in our spare rooms, lofts and garages. Carefully blurring our backgrounds in team meetings so we don’t display our... read more here.
Advocating for 'cheap food' is like buying 10-dollar boots
Blog by Katharine Jenner, Campaign Director of Action on Salt and Sugar
As a Nutritionist, it's not often I get to quote the late Terry Pratchett, but at a time when public health nutrition is high on the politicial agenda, I couldn't miss the opportunity. So here he is on Captain Vimes, who earned just 38 dollars a month... read more here.