Council leaders criticise food strategy as ‘missed opportunity’

By William Eichler | 14 June 2022

Local authority leaders have criticised the Government’s new food strategy as a 'missed opportunity'.

In its response to a review of the UK’s food system, the Government focused on encouraging home-grown food, boosting production and strengthening supply chains.

However, there are no plans to adopt the first recommendation in the report, which was a tax on sugar and salt.

Chairman of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, David Fothergill, said: ‘Obesity and diet-related health issues are one of the biggest public health challenges we face, with the cost of treating obesity-related ill health forecast to rise to £9.7bn a year by 2050.

‘The strategy response represents a missed opportunity to tackle the underlying causes of many of these issues, which will continue to be exacerbated by the growing cost of living crisis.

'Unless the Government takes urgent action, its ambition to halve childhood obesity by 2030 will be missed.’

Cllr Fothergill continued: ‘We are urging the Government to act now to ensure healthy food remains affordable to those who need it the most to protect the most vulnerable in our society.’

The latest data shows that around 64% of adults and 40% of children in England are overweight or living with obesity.

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