Taking the biscuit – how the UK government is promoting ultra-processed junk food to families

Most of the food eaten in the UK is ultra-processed, making up a shocking 65% of children’s diets. But ultra-processed foods carry serious health risks. 

A growing body of new scientific evidence links these foods with heart, kidney and liver disease, cancer, depression and even early death.

Sign our petition calling on Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Steve Barclay, to:

•    Remove the UK government’s Good Choice badge from ultra-processed products, 
•    Introduce dietary guidelines to address ultra-processed foods, 
•    Introduce a percentage reduction target to reduce ultra-processed food consumption to more healthy levels by 2030 
•    Talk to families about their experience of ultra-processed foods, working to ensure that healthy foods are more accessible and affordable

What is the UK government doing about it?

Despite the UK being one of the highest consumers of ultra-processed food and British children having the highest levels of ultra-processed food intake in Europe, these products have been ignored in UK government guidance addressing dietary ill health. 

Worse still, efforts to help parents and carers choose healthy products for their children have actually encouraged the purchase of ultra-processed food and drink. 

We have found products encouraging unhealthy snacking, artificially sweetened beverages and even energy drinks awarded the UK government’s Good Choice badge and promoted as healthy swaps by its NHS Food Scanner App. 

This is playing into the hands of big businesses, while failing families struggling with a cost of living crisis. 

Join us in calling on the UK government to stop taking the biscuit, remove their Good Choice badge from these products and support people to eat less ultra-processed food.

  • Ann D 25.03.2023 21:00
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  • Emily G 25.03.2023 06:37