BDA welcome calorie reduction programme, but want to see childhood obesity plan bolstered

BDA welcome calorie reduction programme, but want to see childhood obesity plan bolstered

18 August 2017

Public Health England have today announced the launch of a calorie reduction programme as part of the government’s childhood obesity plan, which was launched a year ago today. PHE will consider the evidence of children’s calorie consumption and set the ambition for a calorie reduction programme which will include food such as ready meals, pizzas, burgers and savoury snacks. This programme will complement PHEs sugar reduction programme which has been running over the past year.

Responding to the announcement, BDA Chairman Siân O’Shea RD said:

“This is another welcome step in tackling the huge challenge of childhood obesity. Recent statistics have shown that this remains a significant problem, with record numbers of young children being treated for type 2 diabetes, for which obesity is a major factor.

“As with sugar reduction, this will be a voluntary reformulation programme, so it is important that the government prepared to take measures to push manufacturers and retailers to take into action if the voluntary approach does not work. The BDA also believes it is important that the government bolster the childhood plan of action further by taking action on advertising and promotion of foods high in fat, salt and sugar to children. The benefit of reducing the calorie content of individual food items will be undermined if HFSS foods continue to be disproportionately promoted through buy one get free offers and discounting.

“This programme will have impact across the whole of the UK, and I hope that PHE will engage fully with colleagues in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, particularly as the Scottish and Welsh governments develop their own diet and obesity strategies.”



Notes to the editor:

The BDA, founded in 1936, is the professional association and trade union for dietitians in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is the nation’s largest organisation of food and nutrition professionals with over 9000 members.

  • Visit the BDA website at
  • Dietitians are the only qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutrition problems at an individual and wider public health level. Uniquely, dietitians use the most up-to-date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease, which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices.
  • Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals to be statutorily regulated, and governed by an ethical code, to ensure that they always work to the highest standard. Dietitians work in the NHS, private practice, industry, education, research, sport, media, public relations, publishing, Non-Government Organisations and government. Their advice influences food and health policy across the spectrum from government, local communities and individuals.


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