Public Health England drives forward plans for 20% calorie reduction

12 October 2018 by
Public Health England drives forward plans for 20% calorie reduction

Public Health England is driving forward plans for a 20% calorie reduction across some food groups in a bid to tackle childhood obesity.

The news comes as its revealed that the number of 10 and 11-year-olds classed as severely obese has increased by more than a third since 2006/2007.

The government wants see the reduction achieved by 2024, across food categories that contribute most to children's diets including ready meals, pizzas and savoury snacks.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, said: "Excess calories is the next big challenge for the food industry to improve the food we all consume. This is the promising start we need to succeed in reducing calories in the foods included in the programme by 20%."

Data released by Public Health England today showed that the proportion of 10 and 11-year-olds classed as severely obese had risen to 4.2%, its highest rate ever. The proportion of overweight children in the age group is 34.3%.

The proportion of overweight children aged between four and five has remained steady at 22.4%.

In both age groups severe obesity was four times higher in deprived areas.

Further guidance on achieving a 20% calorie reduction by 2024 will be released in spring 2019.

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