‘Tackling obesity, improving policy making on food and health’ – report by the Institute for Government

25 May, 2023

The Institute for Government have published a new report which explores previous reform and policies undertaken by the Government to tackle obesity and why they haven’t worked, and sets out alternative strategies for the Government to make progress in the future to help meet obesity targets and improve public health.

The report shows that the UK has the third highest obesity rate in Europe, with almost one in three adults classified as obese – an increase from one in 10 adults in 1970.

It discusses the far-reaching negative impacts obesity has, including the multiple health impacts it is associated with such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, and the fact that it costs the NHS around £6.5bn every year.

One of the measures suggested to tackle the problem include addressing the lack of joined up policy making by creating a new food and health policy unit, jointly owned by Defra and DHSC, to drive progress with a long-term obesity strategy. Another is to Legislate for the Food Standards Agency to provide independent scrutiny of progress.

For more information, please visit the Institute for Government website.