News / Children's Food Campaign

"Stop playing politics with children’s health" – Sustain and health campaigners pile pressure on No.10

Sustain joins fellow health campaigners across the UK today to make a stand against the Government’s U-turn on childhood obesity. Last Friday, the Prime Minister turned his back on vital measures to tackle childhood obesity, including the 9pm watershed and online ban on junk food adverts, as well as restrictions to junk food multi-buys that make families spend and consume more. 

Sustain's Deputy CEO appeared on BBC News to talk about the U-turn, and Children's Food Campaign Coordinator Barbara Crowther spoke with Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2 today alongside James Lowman from Association of Convenience Stories. Barbara said that retailers must "work with us, not against us", and to "be brave, and do the right thing for children's health". 

Gavin Dupee · Jeremy Vine BBC Radio 2 - 20 May 2022 - Barbara Crowther

Today’s #EtonMess protest, led by TV chef Jamie Oliver, is a response to the Government delaying plans on banning multi-buy junk food deals and pre-watershed TV advertising for unhealthy products.

Health professionals and campaigners say that the Prime Minister has put self-preservation and narrow political interests ahead of real measures to tackle children’s health, and risks compromising the Government’s target to halve childhood obesity by 2030. 

One in four children now leave primary school with obesity, and people who live in lower income areas are twice as likely to be affected. The Government’s own evidence suggests that multi-buys cause us to spend 20% more, not less. There is also no evidence to suggest that banning junk food adverts online or a 9pm watershed would do anything to alleviate the cost-of-living crisis. 

Last night, former Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, told LBC radio that the ‘decision to delay was wrong’, while former Conservative party leader Lord William Hague earlier this week called the U-turn was ‘weak, shallow and immoral’.

Take action now by writing to your MP, asking them to tell Boris to put children’s health before politics.


Published 20 May 2022

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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