MoreLife and National Food Strategy
MoreLife has welcomed the second instalment of the National Food Strategy but says the introduction of sugar and salt taxes alone are only a very small step in the right direction.
The report takes a close look at how the UK food system works and the damage it does to people’s health.
One of its recommendations is the introduction of a sugar and salt reformulation tax, to create an incentive for manufacturers to reduce the levels of sugar and salt in their products.
Professor Paul Gately, CEO of MoreLife and Professor of Obesity and Exercise at Leeds Beckett University, said: “Whilst we welcome the recommendations from the National Food Strategy, introducing sugar and salt tax alone will not be the answer – those who live with obesity need more support to live a healthy lifestyle.
“If these taxes were used to help fund services that have been devastated by austerity and support more people living with obesity to overcome their barriers, more people would be able to access the life-changing support they deserve.”
Paul Gately, MoreLife CEO
“Those who live with obesity need more support to live a healthy lifestyle.”
MoreLife is commissioned by local authorities and CCGs across the UK including in Essex, Suffolk, Bedfordshire & Milton Keynes and Greater Manchester.
Its proven 12-week weight management programmes are driven by evidence and research from Leeds Beckett University and are helping people live longer, healthier lives. They have supported over 18,000 clients to lose weight in 2020.
In addition to the recommendation of a sugar and salt tax reformation the report recommends a new “Eat and Learn” initiative for schools, noting that eating well is much easier if you know how to cook from scratch.
In England, 22.4% of reception-aged children suffer from obesity or are currently overweight, rising to 34.3% for children aged 10−11 years and 40% for children aged 13−15 years.
MoreLife’s Children, Teens & Families Weight Management Services aim to support children who have an increased risk of becoming an unhealthy weight by providing advice and information to tackle and prevent childhood overweight and obesity.
Professor Gately added: “MoreLife thoroughly welcome this recommendation from the National Food Strategy. Supporting children from a young age has been demonstrated to improve their confidence, self-esteem and their overall health and wellbeing.
“By learning key culinary skills as well as basic nutritional information at an early age, children will be able to progress into adulthood armed with the knowledge of how to live a healthy lifestyle and therefore reduce pressures on themselves and our health services as a result.”