Dr Jyotsna Vohra, Director for Policy and Public Affairs at RSPH says:

“This food strategy is disappointing, and in its current form is a missed opportunity to create a healthier and fairer society.

“The current food system is one that is full of unhealthy food options, and inadequate support for anything else.  This leads to high levels of obesity, which in turn burdens our health and social care systems with a range of preventable illnesses including cancer and heart diseases, and leaving many unable to afford a nutritious healthy diet.

“These challenges will not be solved through food education and individual responsibility. They require whole-population level solutions that target the structural causes of ill-health, and the food system is at the heart of this.

“A more equitable food system must be one of the core elements of the levelling-up agenda. With children from the most deprived areas now twice as likely to be obese as those from the least deprived, and in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, this is a time for bold actions such as new salt and sugar reformulation levies, not tweaks to the status quo.”