Why we need change

All children should be able to access healthy food, no matter where they live.

We know that families want affordable, tasty, convenient and healthier food, but our high streets, school canteens and supermarket shelves are flooded with food overloaded with sugar and salt. To improve our health, we need companies to improve what goes into the food they sell.

We have a predilection for calorie-dense foods, which means food companies invest more time and money creating these foods, which makes us eat more of them and expands the market, which leads to more investment, which makes us eat more.
Henry Dimbleby

As much as 85% of the salt we eat is already in our food when we buy it, and just three types of food - biscuits, confectionery and desserts - are responsible for 60% of the added sugar that we eat at home. This excessive sugar and salt consumption is linked with increased cases of serious illness including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and various cancers. 

Companies are skilled at improving their recipes. They do it all the time for a range of reasons inlcuding to respond to changing tastes and preferences. Sadly, many companies feel unable to prioritise out health over their profits and need a level playing field to be able to make their recipes healthier.

The Soft Drinks Industry Levy successfully led to a reduction in sugar content across soft drinks purchased by all socio-economic groups, without leading to a fall in sales. Since its introduction in 2018, total sugar sales in soft drinks have reduced by 34.3% (that’s 46 million kgs a year). Now we need the Government to make sure there are incentives for more companies to do the right thing and produce tasty, affordable food without it costing our health.

Introducing incentives like these is one important step towards a better food systrem that works for both health and profit. Any new measures should be introduced as a part of a larger package of policies and programmes designed to help everyone eat healthier food.

What we are calling for:

  • For Government to build on the success of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy by introducing a new levy on unhealthy food.

  • For businesses to change the recipes of the food and drink that they sell to make them healthier for all of us.

  • To invest revenue raised from the levy in children's health and access to good food.


Read more on different options for future industry levies:

The policy options


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Organisations - be a part of a Recipe for Change

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We are calling for an industry levy to help make food healthier.

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