Healthy eating not Govt responsibility

July 23, 2010, 6:48 PM GMT+0

69% of British adults agree that it is not the role of the Government to tell the public what they should and should not eat, a recent poll has found. 40% of respondents think that it is the responsibility of parents to teach children healthy eating habits, with 57% believing that the role to educate children about making the right food choices should be shared by both parents and schools.

In recent years there has been a lot of media coverage on healthy eating with Jamie Oliver leading the way in the healthy food crusade. Turkey Twizzlers were out and it looked as though school menus were going to be transformed forever. Jamie Oliver found himself defending his healthy eating campaign this month after Health Minister, Andrew Lansley accused Oliver of ‘lecturing people’ about eating healthily.

62% of British adults think that schools should provide a range of food options, including a good proportion of healthy items and 32% go as far as suggesting that only healthy food should be available to school children. Such changes would affect many considering that 1.8 million children are entitled to free school meals.

The government is also proposing a new ‘fat tax’ which would be applied to foods with a high fat, sugar and salt content. It would be similar to that which is currently applied to alcohol and cigarettes. This proposition has not been received well with over half (52%) disagreeing with a 'fat tax' being implemented. 69% do however think that food manufacturers should be made to reduce the fat, sugar and salt content of the worst food offenders. Nearly half (44%) of respondents also reject the new Change4Life scheme which would be backed by food and alcohol companies in return for legislation not being introduced to ban unhealthy food. With the debate on healthy eating still raging on, Bernard Matthews can perhaps sleep easy for another night.

Survey details and full results