Children's Food Campaign welcomes Lords’ behaviour change report
The Children’s Food Campaign has today welcomed the publication of the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee’s report on Behaviour Change, which supports calls for the government to step up its approach to tackling obesity and diet-related ill-health.
Commenting on the report, Campaign Coordinator Christine Haigh said:
“We welcome and support the Committee’s findings that the Government’s voluntary agreements with businesses, such as the Public Health Responsibility Deal, are failing to improve public health, and that other approaches, including regulation, are needed”.
“As the inquiry has recognised, businesses play a huge role in ‘nudging’ people into particular ways of behaving – but usually they push us in the wrong direction. A robust regulatory response from government is needed if we are to reverse the record levels of obesity which place the UK as the fattest nation in Europe.”
“We particularly welcome the report’s recognition that the government’s approach to food labelling has not been evidence-based, and the recommendation that steps are taken to ensure that colour coded nutritional labelling is adopted across the food industry.”
For further information and interviews, please contact Christine Haigh on 020 7837 1228 or Christine@sustainweb.org
Notes to editors:
The Children's Food Campaign wants to improve children's health and well-being through better food - and food teaching - in schools, and protecting children from junk food marketing. We are coordinated by Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming, supported by over 150 national organisations and funded by the British Heart Foundation.
The House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee Behaviour Change report is available at http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/lords-select/science-and-technology-committee/news/behaviour-change-published/. It concludes that:
“Nudges” to behaviour used in isolation will often not be effective in changing the behaviour of the population. Instead, a whole range of measures – including some regulatory measures – will be needed to change behaviour in a way that will make a real difference to society’s biggest problems.
The Government must invest in gathering more evidence about what measures work to influence population behaviour change
They should appoint an independent Chief Social Scientist to provide them with robust and independent scientific advice
The Government should take steps to implement a traffic light system of nutritional labelling on all food packaging
Current voluntary agreements with businesses in relation to public health have major failings. They are not a proportionate response to the scale of the problem of obesity and do not reflect the evidence about what will work to reduce obesity. If effective agreements cannot be reached, or if they show minimal benefit, the Government should pursue regulation.
The UK is now the fattest nation in Europe, see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11983915