News / Children's Food Campaign

Time for some sticks, not just more carrots on obesity strategy

Children's Food Campaign's response to the new Responsibility Deal pledge on increasing fruit and vegetable consumption

Responding to the Department of Health's Responsibility Deal fruit and vegetable pledge announcement, Malcolm Clark, Campaigns Co-ordinator of the Children's Food Campaign said:

“Moves to help us get closer to eating our recommended 5-a-day are always welcome.  But if we want to promote children’s health we also need to protect them from marketing that encourages them to eat fatty, sugary, salty food.  We also need everyday products to be reformulated so they are healthier.

It is hard to see how short term voucher schemes can lead to long-lasting behaviour change. And by not taking a tougher stance on protecting children from the marketing of unhealthy food and drink, the government continues to let our most prominent food manufacturers and retailers off the hook.

We’re looking for the government to develop sticks to go with the publicity “carrots” it is handing out to companies involved in this initiative.”

For further information and interviews, please contact Malcolm Clark on 0203 5596 777 or 07733322148, or


1. The fruit and vegetable pledge should be about promoting healthy foods. It is worrying that some of the products mentioned in the DH press release are medium to high in salt (e.g. most Green Giant canned sweetcorn contains10% GDA of salt per portion; many Dolmio sauces contain 10-20% GDA of salt per portion). Promoting the health benefits of tinned vegetables with added salt is merely replacing one health problem with another.

2. None of retailers and manufacturers listed as having made pledges, have announced any corresponding reduction in their marketing spend and activity on unhealthy food and drink.

3. The Children’s Food Campaign aims to improve young people’s health and well-being through better food – and food teaching – in schools and by protecting children from junk food marketing.  We are supported by over 150 national organisations and co-ordinated by Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming.  For more information see

Published 14 Nov 2012

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.

Latest related news

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.

© Sustain 2021
Registered charity (no. 1018643)
Data privacy & cookies