Pubs have a duty to offer healthier foods, say MPs

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Food pubs have a responsibility to help safeguard the health of the nation, according to the government.Health minister Melanie Johnson (pictured)...

Food pubs have a responsibility to help safeguard the health of the nation, according to the government.

Health minister Melanie Johnson (pictured)​ has launched a consultation period on a new food action plan called Choosing Health? Choose a Better Diet.

She said: "This is not just an issue for the government - lasting improvements are only achieveable if others, including the food industry, consumer groups, health experts and the media work together over the coming months to tackle the issues."

The nutritional priorities outlined in the action plan include reducing the amount of salt, saturated fat and sugar people eat while encouraging them to up the amount of fruit and vegetables and fibre they consume.

"Individuals also have to take responsibility for their diets," Ms Johnson added. "The government and others can, and should, support consumers, providing them with easier access to a wider range of healthier food."

Pubs and other catering outlets are in an ideal position to influence the country's eating habits, according to the government, but its research has found that "food eaten outside the home is higher in fat than food eaten in".

The plan sets out what the government expects pubs and restaurants to do to tackle the problem with a key goal being "caterers reducing the salt, total and saturation fat and sugar content of food and providing better access to fruit and vegetables and higher fibre products."

The government wants to hear from food manufacturers and caterers about its plans to improve the nation's health. Visit www.dh.gov.uk/consultations/liveconsultations, email choosinghealth.consultation@dh.gsi.gov.uk or phone 020 7210 5343 for further information.

Related topics: Healthy options

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