Our policy on obesity and diet

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Get in touch with our policy team to find out more information about our work and our policies.

020 3469 8360 

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Being overweight is the biggest single preventable cause of cancer after smoking and causes 13 types of cancer. This includes two of the most common cancers - bowel and breast - and two of the hardest to treat - pancreatic and oesophageal.

Tackling the unhealthy factors that lead 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.

And if this continues, our research predicts almost four in ten adults could be clinically obese by 2035, causing 670,000 new cases of cancer in the process.

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 needs to reduce the promotion and availability of unhealthy food to children, and to make it easier for everyone to eat better and exercise more. Particular policies we want to see include:

  • A ban on junk food adverts on TV before 9pm
  • The introduction of a tax on drinks with added sugar
  • Government-led targets for the food industry to reduce levels of sugar, salt and fat in everyday foods

We are a steering group member of the Obesity Health Alliance, a coalition of organisations committed to share expertise and support Government to tackle the complex issue of overweight and obesity in the UK.

We also commission research on obesity policy.

Restricting junk food advertising

An infographic showing how junk food tv adverts result in children's "pester power"

Did you know obesity is the second biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK? Find out how you can take action to tackle children’s obesity right now.

Restricting junk food advertising

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