UK food manufacturers are being told by Public Health England to cut the calories in their products by 20 per cent by 2024 in efforts to decrease the amount of people having obesity related health problems.
It is part of the strategy put in place to tackle childhood and adult obesity, as many products include excess calories which are contributing to obesity. Public Health England have claimed that if the 20 per cent target is met, 35,000 premature deaths could be prevented and £9 billion spent on treating obesity related health issues could be saved over a 25 year period.
The food industry has three ways to change their products in line with this new initiative: change the recipes of the products, reduce portion sizes and to encourage consumers to buy lower calorie products.
It’s believed that the NHS spends £6 billion a year treating conditions related to obesity. The UK government claim that obesity related health problems can prevent people to staying in work, therefore affecting their financial stability and the wider economic productivity.
A new campaign outlining the ideal calorie intake for each meal of the day called One You has been launched by the NHS. It encourages people to take more responsibility for their health, with advice on smoking, drinking, eating, moving, sleep and stress. For breakfast they advise 400 calories, lunch is advised at 600 calories and dinner at 600 calories, also.
Public Health England chief executive, Duncan Selbie said: “The simple truth is on average we need to eat less. Children and adults routinely eat too many calories and it’s why so many are overweight or obese.
“Industry can help families by finding innovative ways to lower calories in the food we all enjoy and promoting UK business leadership on the world stage in tackling obesity.”