Food Poverty

Department of Health written question – answered on 12th September 2016.

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Photo of Eilidh Whiteford Eilidh Whiteford Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Social Justice and Welfare)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, entitled Voices of the hungry, published in April 2016, what steps his Department plans to take to (a) initiate regular annual monitoring of adult and child food insecurity in the UK and (b) determine a precise estimate on which to base action to reduce food poverty.

Photo of Eilidh Whiteford Eilidh Whiteford Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Social Justice and Welfare)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, entitled Voices of the hungry, published in April 2016, whether tackling dietary inequality will be a focus of the forthcoming childhood obesity strategy.

Photo of Philip Dunne Philip Dunne The Minister of State, Department of Health

Food insecurity is a global problem which the United Nations (UN) agreed to confront at the World Food Summit in 1996 and has framed subsequent sustainable development goals. Getting accurate and informative data was the motivation for the ‘Voices of the Hungry’ project. This project has established an annual universal metric to measure lack of access to food and the severity of this in over 150 countries, and help inform UN policy. The Department for International Development has provided financial support to enable the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to take this forward.

The United Kingdom is committed to the Sustainable Development Goals and to the data the FAO commissions and manages. There are therefore no plans for the Department of Health to independently monitor food insecurity going forward, or determine a precise estimate on which to base action to reduce food poverty.

The Government is committed to tackling childhood obesity and launched Childhood Obesity: A Plan for Action on 18 August. A copy of the plan is attached and is also available at:

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/546588/Childhood_obesity_2016__2__acc.pdf

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