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Food limits to be set if Labour wins election

16 January 2015

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Limits will be set on fat, sugar and salt content in food marketed at children under a Labour government.

Launched yesterday, Labour’s approach to public health would be part of a wider plan to reduce the number of patients using NHS services.

It hopes that the new policy will reduced the impact that long term conditions such as diabetes and obesity will have upon NHS resources.

Currently the cost of diabetes to the NHS is £10 billion, although this is set to rise to £17 billion by 2035.

Professor John Wass, academic vice president and public health lead for the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) said: “The RCP would welcome any improvements or expansion to traffic light food labeling schemes – as we know that calorie labeling does inform consumer choice.

“The RCP has urged all parties to take national action on obesity, including developing a national obesity strategy, new weight management clinics and to explore taxes on unhealthy foods.

Furthermore, the Labour has also outlined that they intend to tackle the problems associated with high strength, low cost alcohol – examining both price and bottle size.

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK said: “The Labour Party is signalling some moves in the right direction but I hope, if elected, they will be bolder in the strongly evidence-based areas of price, marketing and availability.

“A comprehensive set of actions is urgently needed to reduce the burden of alcohol related disease and premature death in the UK. The Alcohol Health Alliance has set out an evidence-based strategy for tackling alcohol problems, which has the full support of the public health community. This includes introducing a minimum unit price for alcohol, restrictions on alcohol marketing and a lower drink drive limit.

“We are hopeful that the incoming government in May 2015, whoever that may be, will take both an evidence based and a common sense approach to alcohol policy. “