News article

26 August 2011

UK Food Industry Response to Lancet Obesity Series

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In response to the Lancet's Obesity Series, Terry Jones, Food and Drink Federation's Director of Communications said: “The Lancet fails to recognise the lengths to which the UK food and drink industry has gone to help improve the health of the nation, particularly in relation to rising obesity levels.

“Earlier this year we were pleased to have been a founding signatory of the Government's Public Health Responsibility Deal, demonstrating our commitment to a multi-stakeholder and coordinated approach to improving public health. We bring with us our track record of achievement in key areas such as the reformulation of products – an area where the UK is now widely recognised as leading the world, the provision of clear consumer information and our drive to support our own workforce to make healthier choices.

“On product reformulation, the UK food and drink industry has been ahead of the game for a long time in reducing salt, energy and fat in it's products. Achievements so far include a 9% reduction in the amount of salt and fat consumed by households since 2006 (source: Kantar World Panel), and via the Responsibility Deal, our members have committed to reduce levels even further where technologically possible, safe and acceptable to consumers.

"We recognise the significant threat that obesity poses to society and have taken a proactive role in improving health. Food companies are well aware of the complex diet, lifestyle and health challenges facing society and understand the high expectations that policy makers, regulators and campaigners have of the entire food industry. Though the Responsibility Deal initiative is still in its infancy, we firmly believe that as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development made clear last year 'co-operation between government and industry is the single most critical link in a multi stakeholder approach.”

More information

FDF Press team
Nicki Hunt on or 020 7420 7132 -
Rebecca Wilhelm or 020 7420 7140 -
Sarah Jenkinson or 020 7420 7131 -

Notes to Editors

  1. The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is the voice of the food and drink manufacturing industry – the UK's largest manufacturing sector. For more information about FDF and the industry we represent visit:
  2. FDF has been a key participant in the development of the Responsibility Deal that was launched on 15 March 2011 by Secretary of State Andrew Lansley.
  3. Kantar Worldpanel research for FDF (Jan 2011): The 9% average reduction in salt equates to an average of 0.31g reduction per 100g of product in the past five years. The 9% average reduction in fat equates to around 3000 tonnes less saturated fat being placed in shoppers' trolleys compared to five years ago despite a considerable increase in product purchased.

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