Steve Brine MP

for Winchester & Chandler's Ford

25 APR 2018

Steve Brine addresses Obesity Health Alliance

Steve Brine spoke at the annual Obesity Health Alliance Spring Parliamentary event on Wednesday 25th April as he congratulated the organisation on progress to date, in particular the introduction of the soft drinks levy, and to consider the next steps in the campaign to tackle obesity.

The Public Health Minister thanked the OHA for just how far it had come in just three years, and said they should reflect very positively on the contribution they have made to putting obesity on the map and campaigning to ensure that key measures such as soft drinks levy made it to the statute book.

He also set out the progress of the Childhood Obesity Strategy, which was published two years ago, and said he was 'hugely proud of all the things we have achieved under its banner'.

He said: "For me, it struck home when I visited the Lucozade labs where they engineered products with 50% less sugar in response to the soft drinks levy. On its own this is a huge achievement for the company and the public's health more generally.

But what really struck me was how proud all the employees were working for a company that had taken such a positive step. That is real change."

He set out how earlier this month the soft drinks industry levy came in to effect. Around half of all soft drink products that fall under the levy have drastically reduced sugar, and the levy is already funding sports programmes in schools as well as providing £26 million to pay for nutritious breakfast clubs at over 1,700 schools across the country with a focus on increasing provision for disadvantaged pupils.

He also set out other progress, including how Public Health England has driven forward at great pace a comprehensive sugar reduction programme with the aim of a 20% reduction in sugar in key foods by 2020, including a 5% reduction in year one.

Moving forward, he explained how the government has invested £5m pounds over the next 5 years in setting up a specific obesity policy research unit, and how he had learnt much from his recent trip to Amsterdam, where the city has been very successful in tackling child obesity.

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