Our policy on obesity and diet

Being overweight is the second biggest cause of cancer after smoking and, together with a poor diet, is associated with several cancers. 

Tackling the unhealthy behaviour that leads to a poor diet and excessive weight can help reduce the risk of cancer in the UK.

Over the past three decades there has been a substantial increase in weight and a decline in the quality of diets in the UK.

We need to develop a comprehensive strategy that creates an environment where healthier choices become the norm if we are to reverse the rise of obesity and improve diets.

This approach requires policies to reduce the promotion and availability of unhealthy food to children with campaigns to improve their understanding of a healthy diet. Alongside this we need to make it easier for everyone to eat better and exercise more.

Cancer Research UK worked with Government and stakeholders to introduce a new traffic light labelling scheme which will help consumers identify healthier options at a glance.


Joint Briefing: "Traffic light" food labelling

November 2012

Download briefing [PDF]


Response to the Health Select Committee Inquiry into Physical Activity and Diet

December 2014

Download response [PDF]

Response to Scottish Government’s consultation for the creation of a new food body for Scotland

August 2013

Download response [PDF]

Joint response to Government’s consultation on front of pack labelling

August 2012

Download response [PDF]

Contact us

Get in touch with our policy team to find out more information about our policy on preventing cancer.

Call our policy team for more information.

020 3469 8360 

Email the team

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