News Children's Food Campaign

Labour commits to action towards the "healthiest generation of children ever"

Sir Keir Starmer has set out the Labour Party's action plan to support children's physical and mental wellbeing. It includes key commitments on dental hygiene, primary school breakfast clubs and a 9pm watershed on unhealthy food advertising. Children's Food Campaign responds.

kids children eating vegetables. Credit: Oksana Kuzmina / Shutterstock

kids children eating vegetables. Credit: Oksana Kuzmina / Shutterstock

"There is no more important indicator of the state of a country than the wellbeing of its children," states the new Child Health Action Plan outlined by the Labour Party leader, Sir Keir Starmer. 

The action plan sets out a vision to create a better, more prosperous and healthier future for children, under Labour's mission to "get the NHS back on its feet." 

The plan includes commitments to support a supervised toothbrushing programme for 3-5 year olds, roll out breakfast clubs in all primary schools and implement the legislation to bring in a 9pm watershed on TV and online paid for advertising ban for HFSS products. 

Building on an article for The Guardian, the Labour leader also took on critics using negative 'nanny state' arguments to oppose measures to protect and nurture children. “I know that we need to take on this question of the nanny state,” he told reporters ahead of a visit to a children’s hospital. “The moment you do anything on child health, people say ‘you’re going down the road of the nanny state.’ We want to have that fight.” 

The Children's Food Campaign welcomes the priority given to child health, and to prevention of diet-related illness and tooth decay. 

Children's Food Campaign Manager Barbara Crowther says:

"We are encouraged to hear that the Labour Party is putting the health of the nation's children at the heart of its agenda for the future. More than ever children need protection from the flood of unhealthy junk food marketing, and measures that will increase access to nutritious, tasty food instead.

"We welcome that Keir Starmer has said that these are just the 'first steps' that Labour will take. We believe that they also need to create a long-term vision for healthy school food for all, look at advertising on our streets not just on TV or online, and also explore how they could incentivise the food and drink industry more purposefully to shift the recipes and menus of the food and drink in shops, cafes and takeaways towards tasty, nutritious and sustainably produced options. That would certainly build a more prosperous, healthy future for our children."

The full child health plan from the Labour Party is available here

Published Thursday 11 January 2024

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.

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