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Henry Dimbleby’s independent review of the food system

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Image of various vegetables in a basket

There has been widespread coverage this morning of Henry Dimbleby’s independent review of the food system.

Coverage has appeared in BBC News, Daily Mail, The Times, the Sun, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, FT, Daily Mirror, the I, the Express, Metro and multiple others, across broadcast, print and online. Pieces report on the main points and recommendations raised in the report, such as the proposals for measures to combat obesity and improve overall health of children and adults, and proposals for specific initiatives to educate children about nutrition at school.

This review is an independent report led by Henry Dimbleby. Part one was published on 29 July 2020. The Government will respond in full to the report’s conclusions and recommendations in the form of a White Paper in the next 6 months, which will also set out our ambitions and priorities for transforming the food system.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said:

“I would like to thank Henry Dimbleby and his team for their work on this independent review, showing the vital role our food system plays in all our lives.

“This Government will carefully consider its conclusions and respond with a White Paper within six months, setting out our priorities for the food system.”

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  1. Comment by Richard Burton posted on

    Mr Dimbleby has been featured heavily in the media, especially the BBC, but his message is confused, misleading and in at least one case, completely wrong. He has said that his new proposed sugar and salt taxes will reduce calorie intake by between 15-35 calories a day, and that a 24 calorie reduction maintains weight; the median point of his reduction is 25 calories a day, so a completely insignificant difference.

    He also said, extremely emphatically, that exercise doesn't reduce weight, something contradicted by a vast number of studies, so either he's completeley incompetent or lying; either way, his report cannot be viewed with any confidence.

  2. Comment by Robin le Mare posted on

    Didn’t Thatcher’s government commission a similar report...and shelve it?

  3. Comment by David Meredith posted on

    Great ideas in principle however re-formulating foods to have less salt and sugar and maintaining taste and appeal will mean that synthetic substitutes will be used instead. This all sounds great but health is about consuming minimally and non processed foods. Artificially produced tastes and sweetening is a dangerous route to go for. Instead of less artificial foods, this will mean more artificial foods which will be worse for health in other ways.

  4. Comment by Maureen Hutchison posted on

    Not helped by Boris Johnson saying today that he was not keen on the Report’s suggestion that there should be a tax on salt and sugar.And all the media comments that this would ‘put up the cost of food for poorer people’.Doesn’t anyone get the point that manufacturers should decrease the salt and sugar in processed food and that the public in general should be discouraged from eating them?
    And for the Prime Minister to say off-the-cuff that he is ‘not keen’ on a recommendation made by a panel of experts after taking submissions from the public really makes one wonder what expertise he has on the subject

    • Replies to Maureen Hutchison>

      Comment by Richard Burton posted on

      "And for the Prime Minister to say off-the-cuff that he is ‘not keen’ on a recommendation made by a panel of experts......"

      It is not clear to me that Mr Dimbleby at least, is an expert in anything except running restaurants; he seems to have a rather less than firm grasp of the subject. At the very least he is misinformed about exercise and weight, and attributes all illnesses to deficiencies in diet, when exercise is at least as important.

  5. Comment by Peter Dodd posted on

    I welcome the report, 20 years too late but never mind. Personally I don't see it as hard hitting as it should be. Our current eating habits are destroying lives and the planet. The truth is that people are addicted to sweet, fatty and processed foods. It is ok to encourage manufacturers to add less sugar, but if this is just substituted by artificial sweeteners (as is happening) then this will not break the sweetness addiction. We need grass roots education and some honesty from health practitioners who remain far too silent on this and generally offer pretty much no help to sufferers . Advice to the level of move more and watch what you eat does not cut it in the 21st Century. We need much tougher measures on manufacturers and fast food outlets who I think are deliberately taking advantage of peoples addictions in search for profit. Also, and I say this partly tongue in cheek, programmes such as bake off should come with a health warning.

  6. Comment by Robert Nichols posted on

    You wonder why people are so fat and unhealthy look no further than the supermarkets, then look at the basic rate of pay in this country. A white processed pizza sugar fat with oven chips fat & a bottle of cola sugar does that spell it out to you. If I was a mp, I'd be eating & drinking only the best in one of your subsided restaurants in Westminster, though the ladies better watch their drinks (spiked)