The Labour Party have today announced that their third mission in government will be to: Build an NHS fit for the future: that is there when people need it; with fewer lives lost to the biggest killers; in a fairer Britain, where everyone lives well for longer.

The Obesity Health Alliance welcomes the focus on prevention, and the bold commitment to tackle junk food advertising to children, with the following statement:

“We hugely welcome the announcement that Labour are making a bold and necessary commitment to improving children’s health and tackling health inequalities. 
“The case for action on obesity to improve people’s health, protect the NHS and increase economic productivity could not be clearer – so it is great to see the importance of action on this issue recognised in Labour’s Health Missions.  In particular, it is fantastic to see Labour speaking out so strongly in favour of policies to tackle the flood of junk food advertising that IS bombarding our kids. 
“Of course, more action will be needed to achieve this mission, but this is a crucial first step to delivering a future where kids are healthier, happier and freer to live a good life.”
“The last few years have seen the health and wellbeing of our children put at risk by intense lobbying of multinational junk food companies and short-term party political considerations. We call on all political parties to take up the mantle of breaking the junk food cycle, making the healthy choice the easy choice for everyone, and delivering real action on obesity.”

Of relevance to the OHA, the Labour mission states that

  • We will establish a mission delivery board at the heart of Government to bring together all departments with an influence over the social determinants of health, a mission accountability body akin to the Climate Change Committee.
  • We will ensure this flows through to local government and ensure that devolution agreements are designed to reward delivery of our mission outcomes at a combined authority level.
  • Give every child a healthy start in life with a Children’s Health Plan:
    • We will establish fully-funded breakfast clubs in every primary school in England, serving healthy and balanced food to start the day and embed healthy habits and boosting children’s concentration and development.
    • We will also implement a balanced and broad national curriculum with a wide range of physical activities compulsory for all schools.
  • Labour will take action to end the promotion of junk foods targeted at children.
    • We will restrict adverts of foods high in fat, sugar and salt, in favour of healthier options, improve children’s diets by finally implementing the 9pm watershed for junk food advertising on television and ban paid-for advertising of less healthy foods on online media. We know this can work as it has on the TFL transport network.
    • Public service broadcasters should continue to be encouraged with their focus on promoting healthy lifestyles in their programming and food producers will still be able to advertise their products by switching those which are high in fat, sugar, and salt for healthier options.