Obesity

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 20th March 2019.

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Photo of Chris Evans Chris Evans Labour/Co-operative, Islwyn

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he (a) is taking and (b) plans to take to encourage portion control in food and soft drinks.

Photo of Chris Evans Chris Evans Labour/Co-operative, Islwyn

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a maximum portion size for soft drinks.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Eatwell Guide defines the United Kingdom Government’s recommendations on healthy eating. The Guide shows the proportions of the food groups that people should be eating to meet official advice and nutrient requirements; this includes at least five 80 grams portions of fruit and vegetables per day, and at least two 140 grams portions of fish per week, one of which should be oily. There are also recommendations on the maximum consumption of red and processed meat; people who regularly eat more than 90 grams of red or processed meat per day are advised to cut down to no more than an average of 70 grams per day.

The Eatwell Guide also displays drinks recommendations of six to eight glasses of fluids per day ideally from water, lower fat milks, and unsweetened tea or coffee. In addition, the Government recommends a maximum of 150 millilitres of fruit juice and smoothies per day.

The Eatwell Guide is available to view at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/528193/Eatwell_guide_colour.pdf

The Government has challenged all sectors of the food and drinks industry to reduce the sugar content of those foods that contribute significantly to children’s intakes, as part of the Childhood Obesity Plan. Public Health England has set maximum calorie guidelines for products likely to be consumed in a single occasion in the sugar reduction programme. This includes maximum calorie guidelines for juice and milk-based drinks that are excluded from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy. Further information on the sugar reduction programme can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sugar-reduction-juice-and-milk-based-drinks

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