Childhood obesity – bold and brave action

The UK Government’s Health Committee recently released their report “Childhood obesity – bold and brave action”. It calls for urgent action on treating obesity and it’s consequences, which costs the government £5.1bn every year, and has suggested a number of recommendations.

New UK Government on childhood obesity

Did you know that one fifth of children are overweight or obese when they begin school, and this figure increases to one third by the time they leave primary school?

The report goes onto highlight that the most deprived children are twice as likely to be obese than the least deprived, therefore childhood obesity is a significant contributor to health inequality.

Recommended actions to tackle childhood obesity

The report calls on a number of areas where further action is required from the top to reach the most vulnerable individuals:

⦁ Tougher controls on price promotions and advertising of unhealthy food and drink
⦁ Taxation of high sugar and fat food
⦁ Product reformulation of foods high in fat, salt and sugar
⦁ Nutrition standards in schools (which is already happening – see Scottish school nutrition regulations)
⦁ Greater powers for local authorities to help families affected by obesity
⦁ Improved education and information on the importance of a balanced diet

This is just a quick summary of some of the recommendations and for anyone that is interested in the detail you can download the report for some bedtime reading.

Our thoughts to tackle childhood obesity

At Eat Balanced, if we were to support one of these initiatives it would be product reformulation of high fat/salt/sugar food and drinks. We aim to improve children’s nutrition by reinventing kid’s favourite foods, like pizza, into tasty, balanced meals.

What do you think?

If you’re involved in the food and drink industry, we’d love to hear you’re thoughts @eatbalanced and tell us what how you would go about tacking childhood obesity.

Scottish attitudes to healthy eating

Food Standard’s Scotland (FSS) recently released the survey results on Scottish people’s attitude to diet and health.  The findings will be used to help inform the development of FSS diet policy, including approaches to consumer messaging on healthy eating.   Here’s some of the highlights.

Consumer understanding of healthy eating

When someone says or you see the phrase “healthy eating”, this is what the majority of Scottish people think it means:

  • Having a balanced diet
  • Eating food that is locally sourced
  • More fresh food – like fruit and vegetables
  • Less sugar, fat and salt
  • Less snacking in between meals

The survey findings could suggest that the majority of Scottish people understand what it takes to eat a healthy diet, but are not able to do it in practice.

What makes it difficult to eat healthily?

The survey goes onto suggest some of the reasons as to why Scottish people are struggling with implementing healthy diet into their daily lives:

High Cost

75% would approve taxation of foods high in fat, salt and sugar if it reduced the cost of healthy foods


Eating a healthy diet outside of the home was viewed as more difficult, as there was a perception of limited availability and convenience of healthy options outside the home

Lack of willpower

The survey found that lack of willpower when it comes to foods high in fat, salt and sugar was a key reason

Snacking culture

Snacking on foods and drinks high in fat, salt and sugar was another reason.   For adults this appeared to be linked to habit (e.g. TV viewing) and emotional factors such as stress and boredom, whilst for children it was more focused on refuelling when hungry.

 Our responsibility as a food producer

With a fifth of children either overweight or obese, we’ve made it our mission, as a food producer, to help children eat a balanced diet.  We’ve taken into account the cost, availability, the fact that kids can be fussy with food and the difficulty with getting kids to eat a full meal.

It’s not been easy, but we now have a solution that offers a popular and tasty balanced meal, that is affordable and available in schools and kids leisure sites.