Obesity is the biggest public health threat facing the UK today and with sugary drinks contributing heavily to the rising levels of obesity, announcements like today’s from Tesco are welcomed by the Obesity Health Alliance and show that the expectation of Government’s proposed soft drinks industry levy is leading to reformulation. This is clearly a good sign.
Just last week, new figures confirmed that over a fifth of children are overweight or obese by the time they start primary school, and a third by the time they reach year six. So to try to stem the growth in obesity, it is vital that other supermarkets and food and drinks manufacturers follow Tesco’s lead and reformulate their own products too. However, reformulation alone will not solve this problem. It needs to be one of several measures that challenges the obesogenic environment that surrounds us, including closing loopholes to protect children from junk food marketing on TV and online.