We’re joining forces with Sustain for a three-year, multi-project partnership to reduce children’s consumption of unhealthy food and drink in Lambeth and Southwark.
Over the course of the partnership, Sustain will build up an evidence base to identify and prioritise the key national policy calls to tackle childhood obesity. This partnership will help us learn, share and influence decision making at a local and national level.
Sustain has already published Pester Power or Parents Power, a report investigating parents’ views of child-friendly characters on food and drink packaging.
Their key findings include:
This report is one of several key outputs we will use to help us influence the right people, for the biggest impact.
Timelines are being reviewed as a result of COVID-19. Milestones will be reconsidered and updated in Summer 2020.
Sustain will lead a series of research projects, and design campaigns based on their findings. The aim is to create an environment where government and Local Authorities have more control over, and responsibility for, the sale and promotion of unhealthy products.
These projects will be grouped around three main themes:
We’ve learnt that working with existing businesses and within existing policies isn’t enough to close the childhood obesity inequality gap. Beyond scaling-up what we’re already doing in our home, school and street strands, we need to change the current policy constraints that dictate the whole food system.
Though a positive start, campaigns such as the proposed TV ad ban on unhealthy brands aren’t enough to protect children from online marketing and other well-established tactics like the use of kid’s characters on unhealthy products. Our young people are flooded with the least nutritious options and it goes largely unchallenged.
In the meantime, big chains like KFC and McDonalds are planning aggressive expansion plans over the next 10 years in the UK.
We have an opportunity to build on the momentum created by campaigns like the TFL junk food ad ban, which is already making a difference to the types of food young people are exposed to every day.
Sustain is a national alliance of around 100 non-profits who are focused on advocating for better food and farming in the UK, including our partners the Alexandra Rose Foundation and School Food Matters. They run the Children’s Food Campaign, a national coalition through which they deliver most of their policy asks around food and health. They also run the Sugar Smart campaign, a national campaign that works with Local Authorities to reduce the availability of sugary products.
Sustain are influential across the UK, with a good track record in achieving policy change. In the 2017 General Election, they succeeded in getting several of their specific recommendations adopted by leading political parties. They worked with Jamie Oliver to lead the campaign calling for the Sugary Drinks Levy and successfully campaigned to rid hospital premises of excessively sugary promotions. They also work in the areas of food waste, sustainability and farming.
Through this partnership we aim to answer the following questions:
At the end of the three years, we expect Sustain to have tested, built evidence and campaigned for greater local powers to reduce the consumption of unhealthy products, and help create an environment where there is an even stronger appetite for change.
Portfolio Manager: Jessica Attard