In a wide-ranging interview with the brand new Times radio breakfast slot today, the PM had the opportunity to show how his views had changed on obesity and his inclination towards a more interventionist approach. He declined to comment on specific measures (including sugar taxes). He stressed the UK was significantly fatter than European neighbours and due to pressures on the NHS and links between obesity and disease, that they were looking at how you practically make a difference.
In yesterday's Sunday Times there was an article entitled Gastric bands on menu as Boris Johnson puts nation on diet, which said that No.10 were looking at a number of measures as part of a new obesity strategy, and which might include banning promotions including BOGOFs. There was also a comment piece looking at the need for obesity to remain in the spotlight post-Covid.
In today's Times, there is a piece suggesting that officials have told the PM to consider banning 'junk food' advertising and promotional deals (specifically named BOGOFs) in order to tackle obesity. It also suggests that exercise and cooking classes are being considered in plans that are actively being worked upon. There is also a comment piece suggesting that more needs to be done to tackle obesity during childhood and includes a reference to social issues playing a part, as well as the 'food environment'. The Sun also covered an article exploring the PM's plans for obesity, warning that Boris Johnson must remember that a Sugar Tax will not solve the obesity problem, with 'scant evidence' that it makes the slightest difference to waistlines.
As discussed at last week's Diet and Health Committee on Thursday, FDF are continuing to reach out across Westminster and Whitehall and to our media contacts, as well as exchanging information with key partners, including AA and ISBA. We will continue to share intelligence with members through the CAG group calls and PA Update, and would be grateful if you continue to share with us.
If you have any queries please get in touch.