Sustain / Children's Food Campaign

Explore the issues

Children's Food Campaign aims to improve children's dietary health, by improving the food available and marketed in our schools, on our high streets, in our communities, and throughout society.

We give a voice to parents, and amplify the voices of health and education professionals and civil society organisations at the front-line of protecting children’s health and wellbeing.

Here are the policies that we are currently championing:

1) 'Tax the Can' - ensuring implementation of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy.

2) Tougher junk food marketing restrictions - both online & on TV.

3) Junk Free Checkouts and other changes to in-store promotions.

4) School Food Standards which are enforced and apply to all schools.

5) More resources for food education in schools

For the lowdown on these issues, read our short briefing:
Unfinished Business from the Government’s Childhood Obesity Plan (pdf).

In addition, we are supporting our Sustain colleagues in pushing the following initiatives:

(i) Sugar Smart Cities, and the Local Authority Declaration on Healthy Weight and Sugar Reduction.

(ii) Better Hospital Food Standards.

(iii) a Children's Health Fund voluntary levy on sugary drinks (until the Government's own Levy comes into force in May 2018).

Our achievements / past campaigns

Over the past decade we have had a big impact for a small organisation. Here are some of the issues we have successfully got stuck into:

  • Led the successful alliance campaign for a UK sugary drinks tax, announced by Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne in his 2016 Budget, and confirmed in the Government's subsequent Childhood Obesity Plan. The levy will raise hundreds of £millions for children's health promotion, and should be implemented from spring 2018.
  • Our success with the sugary drinks levy followed Sustain's establishment of a Children's Health Fund, working with the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, and with restaurants, to demonstrate that a sugary drinks levy is viable and effective, and raising funds for children's health projects.
  • Led the campaign that resulted in some of the then strongest legislation in the world to protect children from junk food advertising on television, resulting in a 37% reduction in advertisements aimed at children for products high in fat, salt and sugar.
  • Persuaded many leading supermarkets and other food retailers to remove junk food from their checkouts, to decrease 'impulse purchases' of unhealthy snacks that add unnecessary calories to people's shopping and cause conflict with children at the checkout. By 2016, we estimate that half of checkouts in the UK are now junk-free.
  • Supported legally binding standards for school food and removing junk food snacks,
  • Secured food education and cookery lessons for every primary pupil and KS3 secondary school pupils too.
  • Provide free school meals for all infant pupils
  • Introduce clear food labelling that everyone, including children, can understand

Children's Food Campaign: Better food and food teaching for children in schools, and protection of children from junk food marketing are the aims of Sustain's high-profile Children's Food Campaign. We also want clear food labelling that can be understood by everyone, including children.

Support our campaign

Your donation will help us champion children’s rights, parent power and government action to improve the food environment children grow up in.


The Green House
244-254 Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9DA

020 3559 6777

Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

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