Obesity Strategy 2020

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:56 pm on 27th May 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 2:56 pm, 27th May 2021

I am very glad that my right hon. Friend is joining me in the ambition of wanting to get the weight of the nation down. I would gently push back, and say that I do not recognise those calorie figures. I am sure we can have a longer discussion over where that evidence base is drawn from, and about the fact that there is actually a much greater impact. As I have pointed out on two or three occasions, this is about the building blocks of all these different measures coming together, and they will be monitored and assessed as we go through.

Another element of the environment is advertising. Currently, we are failing to protect children from over-exposure to high-fat, salt and sugar products via advertisements on both television and online platforms. I would gently say that if adverts did not influence people, they would not be used. Therefore, to help tackle the current situation, let us just see more advertising of healthy food. It always strikes me as quite interesting when watching a diet programme on the television that each ad break is often interspersed with adverts for high-fat, salt and sugar products. This does not affect the advertising industry’s revenue, because there is still a need to advertise and people still need to eat, but the foods advertised often do not reflect the balance that we need to enjoy a healthy life.