Food Strategy: ‘a missed opportunity’

June 13, 2022 in ADPH Updates, Blog, Children, Young People and Familes, Commercial Determinants of Health, Obesity, nutrition and physical activity by Heather Partridge

ADPH responds to today’s publication of the Government’s Food Strategy 

The Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) has expressed its disappointment in the Government’s Food Strategy, published today. 

Henry Dimbleby’s Independent Review set out ambitious, yet achievable, measures to dramatically reduce the rates of obesity and improve public health through the food system. However, the Government’s response falls short of being able to deliver those ambitions. 

Dimbleby’s review highlighted the need for a joined up response to legislate for a healthier approach. Unfortunately, by trying to address specific areas of the review with different pieces of legislation, there is a danger that this joint responsibility will be lost, at the cost of the nation’s health.  

It is now vital that the upcoming Health Disparities white paper addresses these issues in order to achieve healthier outcomes, including the goal of halving childhood obesity by 2030.  

ADPH President, Jim McManus, said:  

“Our members (Directors of Public Health) work hard to develop and maintain partnerships in their local communities which promote healthy eating – and living – practices.  

“However, we have seen time and time again that personal responsibility is only part of the answer especially given the strong commercial interests that shape our consumption. Thought through policy and effective legislation are also needed to give people the opportunity to make those healthy choices in a sustainable, affordable way.  

“While some of the measures are of course welcome, today’s strategy sadly represents a missed opportunity and is, at best, a marker in the sand. What we need is a comprehensive food strategy not only for a healthy population, but also for a sustainable, thriving economy. 

“We would urge the Government to work with us – and others – to achieve this.”