FDF members share society's concerns about the health of the nation,
particularly in relation to rising obesity levels. We believe there is no
simple cause or
single solution to tackle obesity and that a broad range of initiatives is
to reverse the health burden of rising obesity, reduced physical activity and
alcohol consumption and drive change.
FDF members are already playing their part to help individuals achieve a
healthy, balanced diet by providing a wide range of affordable, nutritious food
drinks as well as developing healthier options, changing recipes to add extra
nutrients in and reducing levels of salt, saturated fat and energy in addition
providing clear on-pack nutrition information.
Our commitment to health is long-standing: we published our first health and
wellbeing action plan in 2004 and in 2007 we established a Health and Wellbeing
Steering Group to work constructively with Government, regulators and others to
help find solutions to the complex issues at the heart of the diet and health
challenge here in the UK. FDF are currently working constructively and
with Government through voluntary initiatives such as the Responsibility Deal
engage regularly with other stakeholders on this complex issue.
Our work has included:
- Reformulating products to reduce calories, usually by reducing levels of fat or
sugars, whilst maintaining food safety, quality and taste as part of our
commitment to the Responsibility Deal. We have also reformulated products to
salt and have virtually eliminated the use of artificial trans-fats –
individual company case studies are available to view in our Health and Wellbeing report.
- Developing 'low-in' products as part of our ranges
- Providing a range of portion sizes to enable individuals to select smaller
- Developing new packaging, such as re-sealable packs, so that customers do not
have to consume a product 'in one go' and are able to minimise waste and
- Promoting healthy lifestyles within our own workforces and the communities
within which we operate
- Providing clear, consistent nutrition information on food labels to enable
consumers to make informed choices
Obesity refers to an excess of body fat, and in adults is measured by the body
mass index (BMI) which is defined as a person's weight (in kilograms) divided
their height (in metres) squared. Obesity is defined as a BMI of 30kg/m2 or over.
Rising levels of obesity are a public health concern due to the association
between obesity and morbidity and mortality. Being obese increases the risk of
developing chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease,
blood pressure (which is linked to an increased risk of stroke) and cancer.
Weight gain occurs when overall energy intakes consistently exceed energy
requirements, leading to weight gain. Both diet and physical activity have a
play in maintaining energy balance. Put simply the number of calories we eat
needs to match the amount of physical activity we do to keep our weight
The most recently published government figures (Health Survey for England –
2014) show that in England there was a marked increase in the proportion of
people in the mid-nineties, which rose less steeply until around 2006. Obesity
levels have remained similar since then, and are currently 24% for men and
In total, 65% of men and 58% of women are above the normal weight for their
height, with 41% of men and 31% of women being overweight but not obese.
The same report found that 17% of boys and girls aged 2 to 15 were
classed as obese, with 14% of all children both boys and girls classed as
overweight. Obesity in children increased steadily from 1995 to 2004/5, with
slightly below this peak since then, however in 2014 obesity among
boys aged 2-15 reached the peak level of 19% again, whereas for girls obesity
at a lower level, 16%.
Delivering Healthy Growth
Food and drink labelling: A toolkit to encourage healthier eating
FDF Workplace Wellbeing toolkit
2015 statistics on obesity, physical activity and diet in England
Last reviewed: 11 Feb 2016