New committee calls for evidence in obesity investigation

Posted: 19 February 2024 | | No comments yet

A new House of Lords Committee will investigate the role of some food types and the food and beverage industry on obesity and public health.

The House of Lords Committee on Food, Diet and Obesity has today published a call for written evidence for its inquiry into the role of foods, such as so-called ultra-processed foods, and foods high in fat, salt and sugar, in a healthy diet and tackling obesity. It says it is inviting “interested individuals and organisations to submit their views on these issues”.

The committee was formed in January 2024 and is expected to report by 30 November 2024 on the impact that HFSS and ultra-processed foods have on health outcomes in the UK. In addition, it will also asses how shifts in behaviours have impacted obesity, as well ash whether government policy has any bearing on these shifts in behaviour. Crucially, the Committee will also asses how the role that the food and beverage industry in “the public health landscape”.

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The key issues the Committee are investigating include the definition of HFSS and ultra-processed foods and “their usefulness as terminologies for describing and assessing such products”, as well as “the role of the food and drink industry in driving food and diet trends and on the policymaking process”. It will also assess the effectiveness of Government planning and policymaking in tackling obesity and the impact of recent policy and legislation in this battle.

Over the next few weeks the Committee will hear oral evidence from some big-hitters in the health and nutrition space, including Henry Dimbleby, Dr Chris van Tulleken, Anna Taylor of the Food Foundation, Katharine Jenner from Obesity Health Alliance, and Fran Bernhardt from Sustain.

Anyone can submit evidence to the Committee here. The deadline is 8 April 2024.

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