20 November 2018

Survey results show 90% of people want healthier food

healthy food

A survey from Public Health England (PHE) found that around 9 in 10 people support the notion of the government working alongside the food industry in order to make food healthier. There was overwhelming public support for reducing sugar and calories in everyday food items.

Market research company Ipsos MORI carried out the survey, which revealed that nearly 90% of people support the government working with manufacturers, supermarkets and the 'eating out of home' sector to make food and drinks healthier. This applied to all sectors, and no allowances were made for food consumed in restaurants, coffee shops or cafes, despite this often being labelled as a ‘treat’.

Other interesting findings from the survey include:

  • Over 9 in 10 respondents think obesity is a problem in the UK, and 79% believe it has a negative impact on the NHS

  • Only cancer (47% of respondents) and mental health (43%) are seen as bigger health concerns for the UK population than obesity (39%)

  • People believe the greatest responsibility for tackling obesity lies with individuals and families (90%), the food industry (80%) and the government (72%), underlining a belief in a collective responsibility

  • There was support from 87% of people to replace unhealthy products near supermarket tills and checkouts, with healthier ones

Duncan Selbie, chief executive at PHE, said:

"Obesity is the pandemic of modern times. Customers are saying they want faster progress from the food industry, and in particular, those businesses that have taken little or no action. We will be publicly reporting on these during 2019.

Next year, PHE will publish further progress towards reaching the 20% sugar reduction ambition by 2020, as well as guidelines for industry to achieve the 20% reduction in calories by 2024.

What do you think? Should the government be doing more to promote healthy eating? Let us know by tweeting us @NewcrossHealth or in the comments section.