The Obesity Health Alliance is a coalition of 30 national health charities, medical colleges and campaign groups including the Men's Health Forum.
What does the OHA want?
It is campaigning on a ten-point plan.
- The Government should introduce a ban on advertisements before the 9pm watershed for food and drink products that are high in saturated fat, salt and sugar. Alongside this, regulation governing on-demand services and online advertisements should be tightened to align with broadcast regulations.
- Retailers should be set targets to improve in-store architecture to reduce the display of unhealthy foods in areas such as checkouts and end of aisle displays and increase price promotions of healthier alternative products.
- The Government should take action to reduce the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) by introducing a 20% tax on SSBs. The impact of this tax should be monitored and evaluated annually with revenue raised reinvested in public health promotion.
- The Government should develop an independent set of incremental reformulation targets for industry, backed by regulation and which are measured and time bound. These targets should address salt, sugar and saturated fat levels. Compliance with these targets should be monitored and non-compliance should be backed by meaningful sanctions.
- The Government should close the loophole exempting academies and free schools from the School Food Standards. Alongside this the Government should ensure the effective implementation of the cooking and nutritional education qualification into the curriculum.
- The Government should commit to ambitious targets and sustained investment in active travel; this should be accompanied by guidance to Directors of Public Health on how to enable active travel at a local level.
- The Government should commit to protecting ring fenced public health grants and future increases to enable local authorities to tackle obesity in their localities.
- Alongside continued negotiations at an EU level to ensure the future of the hybrid system of front-of-pack labelling, the Government should approach, not just retailers and manufacturers, but also restaurants and cafes to expand the number of products that feature the hybrid colour-coded front-of-pack nutritional labelling in the UK.
- Training curricula for all health professionals should include the role of nutrition and physical activity and obesity and the impact on health which should be examined. This should be alongside continuing professional development opportunities to skill up on counselling and coaching techniques.
- The Government should commit to sustained investment to extend and increase the provision and quality of weight management services for families across the UK.
Who is in the OHA?
Other members of the OHA alongside the Men's Health Forum include: Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Action on Sugar, Association for the Study of Obesity, Association of Directors of Public Health, British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine, British Heart Foundation, British Medical Association, British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society, British Society of Gastroenterology, Cancer Research UK, Children's Food Campaign, Diabetes UK, Faculty of Public Health, Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine, Health Equalities Group, Institute for Health Visiting, Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, National Obesity Forum, Royal College of General Practitioners, Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Royal College of Surgeons, Royal Society for Public Health, Society for Endocrinology, and UK Health Forum.