Published: Tue, March 06, 2018
Medical | By Marta Holmes

Britain needs to go on a diet

Britain needs to go on a diet

The government has launched a new One You campaign, which aims to support people to be more calorie-aware when they are out and about with its simple tip 400-600-600: 400 calories at breakfast, and 600 for lunch and dinner.

Britons are being urged "to go on a diet" as research reveals that numerous UK's children are eating up to 500 calories more than the recommended daily amount - the equivalent of an extra meal.

The Government recommends eating less of these foods and more foods containing unsaturated fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, plant-based oils and spreads.

Public Health England (PHE) has "challenged" the processed food industry to make the reduction by 2024, after it established that some children are eating the equivalent of an extra meal a day.

PHE claimed that if the 20% target is met within five years, more than 35,000 premature deaths could be prevented and around £9 billion in NHS healthcare and social care costs could be saved over a 25 year period.

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'Industry can help families by finding innovative ways to lower the calories in the food we all enjoy'.

Fast food chains, supermarkets, restaurants and food producers need to cut calories in their products by 20% if the United Kingdom stands a chance at tackling obesity in children. We also need clear guidance from government on what will happen if the food industry fails to comply, as it is vital that the industry is given a level-playing field and all companies, both retail and out of home, fully co-operate.

The government said the food industry has three ways to reduce calories: change the recipe of products, reduce portion sizes and encourage consumers to purchase lower calorie products.

Studies have found obese children consume up to 500 calories a day more than they need.

These significantly contribute to children's calorie intake and include ready meals, pizzas, savoury snacks and "on-the-go" deals. "Children and adults routinely eat too many calories and it's why so many are overweight or obese".

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A four-year-old should consume no more than 1,300, while for males aged 17 and 18 it is about 3,000, but overweight and obese children are consuming up to 500 calories more than that. According to the NHS, obesity is "generally caused by consuming more calories - particularly those in fatty and sugary foods - than you burn off through physical activity".

"It is fuelling an epidemic of preventable illnesses like type II diabetes and cancer".

"We are also working through our campaign and its partners, to give the public the information they need to help make those choices easier".

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, added: "It's hard for people to make healthy food choices, whether for themselves or their families". The new guidance comes nearly a year after PHE ordered manufacturers to cut sugar in 12 food products in five years.

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