Cut portion sizes to save lives, food firms told

An alliance of health charities has called for greater portion size control, further product reformulation and restrictions on sporting event sponsorship by unhealthy food brands as part of a raft of measures to prevent 250,000 premature deaths in Britain by 2025.

Other proposals made by the Richmond Group of charities include a sugar sweetened beverage tax, which is in the process of being implemented by the UK Government, and further restrictions on unhealthy food being marketed on TV and online.

The proposals are part of 12 population level public health interventions that experts said could help significantly reduce deaths and disability caused by alcohol, smoking, poor diet and physical inactivity.

The Richmond Group, a collection of 12 health and social care charities including the British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK, called on the Government, health charities and health services to work together to tackle long-term preventable health conditions.

The study found that bold action could result in 25% fewer early deaths in women and 22% in men by 2025, representing 250,000 lives saved in total. It claimed that, on their own, the mandatory reformulation of foods to reduce salt and sugar levels, together with a shift to smaller portion sizes, could save 26,000 lives by 2025.

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