Fresh crackdown on junk food launched in post-Covid war on obesity, Queen’s Speech reveals


THE Government has launched a fresh crackdown on junk food today in a post-Covid war on obesity.

Part of the Queen’s Speech today was dedicated to fighting weight-gain and making Britain healthier.

The Government wants to get Britain fitter and healthier in the wake of the pandemic

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The Government wants to get Britain fitter and healthier in the wake of the pandemicCredit: Getty – Contributor
The Queen delivering the speech as she opens Parliament this morning

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The Queen delivering the speech as she opens Parliament this morningCredit: BBC

Ministers announced a huge push to improve the overall health of Brits in the wake of Covid – with the aim to prevent problems before they emerge.

One in six adults and more than one in three kids aged ten to 11 are overweight – with obesity a large risk factor in fighting the virus.

Today the Government outlined a game-plan to tackle the growing problem.

The Queen said as she opened Parliament this morning: “Measures will be brought forward to support the health and wellbeing of the nation, including to tackle obesity and improve mental health.”


Other plans today also confirmed:


She added: “We are also offering greater support through GPs, so that anyone with obesity can get support from their GP and referrals to weight management services.”

The number of kids admitted to hospital for obesity and related health conditions has quadrupled in the last yen years.

Obesity is linked to a reduction in life expectancy and is a risk factor for lots of chronic diseases, including both types of diabetes, cancers and mental health issues.

Ads for junk food that have high fat, salt and sugar content will be restricted from April 2022.

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TV adverts for unhealthy foods will be banned before 9pm, with a total ban online.

An extra £100 million funding is set to go into the Healthy Weight Strategy launched in 2020 – which supports families and kids to maintain a better weight.

GET BRITAIN FITTER

Brits will be given incentives and rewards to get them to eat better and exercise more under a “Fit Miles” programmes, with GP support bumped up.

The Government has promised to be smokefree in England by 2030, with a new Tobacco Control Plan still to come.

But ministers want to continue the reduction in the rate of smokers, which at 14 per cent in England, is the lowest level on record.

Improving access to and increasing mental health care options makes up a big chunk of the speech today.

As the country recovers from the Covid pandemic, the Mental Health Act is set to be reformed – with the aim of giving people more control over their treatment.

The Queen, 95, came to Parliament to deliver her key-note address in one of her first major engagements since the death of her husband, Prince Philip.

But the occasion has been pared down over Covid, and only featured a few dozen people in the room with Her Majesty.

‘HAS TO BE BINNED’

Christopher Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: “It is surprising to hear that the government is pressing ahead with a ban on so-called ‘junk food’ advertising on TV and online.

“There is no satisfactory legal definition of ‘junk food’ and the proposals would ban most food companies from advertising most of their products.

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“Every business from the largest food corporation to the local wedding cake maker and bakery would find their freedom to communicate with customers severely curtailed.

“Broadcasters would lose out on much needed revenue. It is a terribly ill-considered policy that no other country has introduced. It has to be binned.”

FDF’s Chief Scientific Officer, Kate Halliwell, said: “A proposed advertising ban would remove less than five calories a day from children’s diets, according to the Government’s own estimates.

“And yet the proposals limit the scope for advertising products that have been carefully reformulated or created in smaller portions in-line with the Government’s own targets. For example, Cadbury would not be able to advertise their 30% reduced sugar Dairy Milk.

“This is tying businesses hands, by limiting how healthier options can be successfully brought to market. It undercuts what has been a key pillar of the Government’s obesity strategy, and demonstrates a lack of joined-up policy making.”

Today it was revealed the Prime Minister plans to bring forward his long-awaited plans to shake-up social care funding in England.

He made it a manifesto promise to transform it, vowing no one should have to sell their home to pay for care in old age.

But the proposals are set to be costly and controversial, so the plans had been on ice for months.

The Queen said: “My Ministers will bring forward legislation to empower the NHS to innovate and embrace technology.

“Patients will receive more tailored and preventative care, closer to home.”

It comes as a massive shake up of the NHS is on the cards with the White Paper – which the Health Secretary has said will scrap red-tape and “make the system work” better.

He previously said the news will mean local areas will have a more joined up system for taking care of local people.

And ultimately he as Health Secretary would be responsible for the direction of the NHS – but would leave day to day operation and clinical decisions to health chiefs.

The Queen travelling to the House of Lords ahead of the opening

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The Queen travelling to the House of Lords ahead of the openingCredit: Nigel Howard
The Queen's crown is taken separately to Her Majesty ahead of the opening

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The Queen’s crown is taken separately to Her Majesty ahead of the openingCredit: Sky News
Susanna Reid in spat with ‘fat-shaming’ diet guru who thinks obese Brits should be turned away from fast-food restaurants





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