FDF Health Report - Feeding Change

FDF and its members have a commitment to help consumers achieve a balanced diet within a healthy lifestyle. FDF's Feeding Change report demonstrates the progress its members have made to support people in making healthier choices.

Over the past five years FDF members have reduced energy in the average basket by 5.5% and sugars by 12.1%. During the lifetime of the latest salt targets (2012-2017) FDF's members have reduced salt content by a further 11.4%, continuing to build on more than 15 years of steady reformulation work. (Kantar Worldpanel UK data for FDF total membership).

Using individual company case studies, the report highlights a range of industry action; from reformulating products to reduce salt, fat and sugar, to limiting portion sizes and innovating to bring new, healthier options to the market.

Kate Halliwell, FDF Head of UK Diet and Health Policy said:

“At a time when one in three children are leaving primary school overweight or obese, industry's ground-breaking work to tackle this issue is more important than ever.

“In this report, we aim to provide a snapshot of the great work FDF members have done to improve the nation's diet. FDF and its members recognise they have a role to play in tackling obesity, but we cannot do it alone. Through continued collaboration with Governments across the UK and other industry stakeholders, we are committed to being part of the solution and to improving the nation's diet – and our commitment is demonstrated in this new report.”

Foreword

Ian Wright CBE,
Chief Executive

The UK is very proud of its food and drink. UK consumers have access today to a wider range of safe, high-quality and nutritious food and drink - at all price points - than ever before.

Food and drink is the UK's largest manufacturing sector, providing jobs for some 400,000 people and contributing nearly £25 billion to the UK economy each year. Innovation, whether to enhance productivity, safety, choice, flavour, quality or nutrition, is central to what we do. Many of the world's food companies choose to conduct their research and development here in the UK.

Moreover, food and drink is also part of our vital national infrastructure. If you can't feed the country then, pretty soon, you don't have a country. Today's complex, inter-dependent supply chains and just-in-time working patterns mean that our supply of food is potentially fragile.

Food and drink are not just commodities. They are deeply embedded in our history and our culture. Our relationship with food and drink goes way beyond its intrinsic nutritional value; eating and drinking and the occasions that surround them are part of what defines us.

It is partly for this reason that the UK's obesity challenge is so intractable. It has been clear for some time that too many of us, on average, consume too many calories. Rates of obesity for both adults and children are much too high – and particularly so among those in the lowest socio-economic groups.

Food and drink manufacturers have for many years been active participants in the fight against obesity. We will be for many years to come. It cannot be solved without us; though we cannot solve it alone.

The pace of this work is accelerating. It can be seen on every supermarket shelf whether by way of reformulation – changing the recipes of products – or in changing to more appropriate portion sizes. Marketing mix is also important as consumers are encouraged to consider healthier choices and innovation to increase the range of options available.

This report summarises our continuing commitment to diet and health policy issues. It sets out examples of the great work that is going on in that field in countries across the UK. It is a record of real achievement and one of which we are all enormously proud.


Last reviewed: 14 May 2018