Promoting healthy food
The London 2012 Olympic Games is an opportunity to promote well-being and to associate physical prowess with good food and active living.
In the UK, we have severe problems with childhood obesity and associated health problems. We should use every opportunity we have to promote healthier food choices to young people. And what better opportunity than promoting the links between great food and heroic athletes at an exciting international sporting event?
However, we have to recognise that the International Olympic Committee that organises international Olympic sponsorship has long-standing relationships with food and beverage companies that promote some high sugar and high fat products, namely Coca-Cola and McDonald’s. For London 2012, the chocolate company Cadbury has also joined the list of food sponsors. These organisations have made some steps to improve the nutritional profile and sustainability of their range of products and practices.
There is still a long way to go, particularly in promoting more nutritious and attractive food. And unfortunately, at most sporting and tourist venues, unhealthy food and drinks are the norm – especially food targeted at children and young people. Sustain therefore wants to see London 2012 champion healthier food by:
- Setting nutrition standards in catering contracts for food that promotes fresh, healthy ingredients and limits salt, saturated fat and sugar consumption
- Being quite clear with all food providers (including the Olympic sponsors) marketing to children and young people should only be associated with food that meets nutrient profiling requirements for healthy food. The Olympics should not be used as an opportunity to promote junk.
Sustain’s Children’s Food Campaign will be taking a keen interest in these issues. Join the Children’s Food Campaign to add your voice to the growing call for better food for children.
Return to Sustain's Olympic Food home page