Henry Dimbleby quits as government food tsar over ‘failure to tackle obesity'

20 March 2023 by
Henry Dimbleby quits as government food tsar over ‘failure to tackle obesity'

Henry Dimbleby has resigned from his role as the government's ‘food tsar' so that he can criticise its lack of action against obesity.

"This government is going backwards," he told The Sunday Times. "After Boris Johnson's hospitalisation (with Covid-19 in 2020), they were going to restrict advertising of junk food to children. They're not going to do that. They're just not tackling it."

In the interview, he criticised an obsession with "ultra-free-market ideology" and concerns over appearing too "nanny state".

The co-founder of the Leon restaurant chain authored the National Food Strategy for England, which was published in 2021 and included recommendations such as a sugar and salt reformation tax to improve the nation's health.

Four out of the seven recommendations outlined in part one of the strategy were adopted, including the extension of Healthy Start vouchers for parents of young children claiming benefits to spend on vitamins, fruit, vegetables, and milk.

However, plans to ban promoting buy-one-get-one-free deals have been delayed, and a ban on advertising junk food before 9pm which was also expected to be introduced this year has been pushed back to 2025.

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