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New PHE anti-obesity campaign focuses on calorie intake

Public Health England has launched a new crackdown on obesity, with the latest campaign focused on reducing calorie intake.

It said this comes amid new evidence showing both children and adults are consuming hundreds of excess calories daily.

The campaign encourages adults to consume 400 calories at breakfast, and 600 for lunch and dinner, and also ’challenges’ the food industry ’to reduce calories in products consumed by families by 20% by 2024’.

According to PHE, obese boys and girls consume up to 500 and 290 calories too many each day respectively, while adults consume 200–300 calories in excess each day.

PHE wants food manufacturers and retailers to change the recipe of products, reduce portion size and encourage consumers to purchase lower calorie products.

The NHS spends around £6bn a year treating obesity-related conditions.

But PHE said that if the 20% target is met within five years, more than 35,000 premature deaths could be prevented and around £9bn in NHS healthcare and social care costs could be saved over a 25-year period.

GP leaders have called on the Government to do more to stem the rising tide of obesity via public health interventions such as introducing a sugar tax.

They particularly criticised the long-awaited childhood obesity strategy when it was published last year, for being ‘weak and watered down’.