Tuesday, 19 February 2013

'Fizzy drink tax' to stop UK being 'fat man of Europe' - Health News - NHS Choices

'Fizzy drink tax' to stop UK being 'fat man of Europe' - Health News - NHS Choices

reposted from:
crabsallover highlightskey pointscomments / links.

What were the main findings of the report?

The report has 10 key recommendations which include actions that would need to be taken by health professionals and ways to make healthier choices easier. The key recommendations are as follows:

  • Education and training programmes for healthcare professionals: 

The report says that Royal Colleges, Faculties and other professional clinical bodies should promote targeted education and training programmes within the next two years. These should help to train healthcare professionals working in both general practice and hospital care to ensure that they ‘make every contact count’. This means sensitive recognition and appropriate referral and management for overweight and obese patients.

  • Weight management services: 

It is recommended that the departments of health in the four UK nations should together invest at least £100 million in each of the next three financial years to increase provision of weight management services across the country, to mirror the provision of smoking cessation services (£88.2 million was spent on smoking services in 2011/12). This is recommended to include both early intervention programmes and greater provision for management of severe obesity, including bariatric (weight loss) surgery. The report says that adjustments could then be made to the Quality and Outcomes Framework, providing incentives for GPs to refer patients to such services.

  • Nutritional standards for food in hospitals: 

Within the next 18 months food-based standards should be introduced in all UK hospitals in line with those put in place for schools in England in 2006. Commissioners should work with a delivery agent similar to the Children’s Food Trust to put these measures into place.

  • Increasing support for new parents: 

The health visitor service in England should be extended to include delivering basic food preparation skills to new mothers and fathers, and to guide appropriate food choices which will ensure nutritionally balanced meals, encourage breastfeeding and using existing guidance in the Personal Child Health Record as a tool to support this.

  • Nutritional standards in schools: 

The existing mandatory food- and nutrient-based standards in England should be applied to all schools including free schools and academies. From the 2014/15 academic year, this should be accompanied by a new requirement on all schools to provide food skills, including cooking and growing – alongside a sound theoretical understanding of the long-term effects of food on health and the environment.

  • Fast food outlets near schools: 

In its first 18 months of operation, Public Health England should undertake an audit of local authority licensing and catering arrangements with the intention of developing formal recommendations on reducing the proximity of fast food outlets to schools, colleges, leisure centres and other places where children gather.

  • Junk food advertising:

A ban on advertising of foods high in saturated fats, sugar and salt before the television watershed of 9pm, and an agreement from commercial broadcasters that they will not allow these foods to be advertised via internet ‘on-demand’ services, such as ‘catch-up’ internet streamed TV services.

  • Sugary drinks tax:

A duty should be piloted on all sugary soft drinks, initially for one year, increasing the price by at least 20%. The authors say that estimates suggest a duty of just 20p per litre could generate revenue of approximately £1 billion per year, which could theoretically be used to provide weight management programmes across the country. It is suggested the tax would be an experimental measure for one year, looking at the effects and then seeing what impact it has upon consumption patterns and producer/retailer responses.

  • Food labelling: 

In the next year, major food manufacturers and supermarkets should agree a unified system of traffic light food labelling (to be based on percentage of calories for men, women, children and adolescents) and visible calorie indicators for restaurants, especially fast food outlets.

  • Travel and green spaces: 

Public Health England should guide Directors of Public Health in working with Local Authorities to encourage active travel and protect or increase green spaces to make the healthy option the easy option. In all four nations, local authority planning decisions should be subject to a mandatory health impact assessment to evaluate their potential impact upon the populations’ health.

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