Calls for evidence on links between diet and obesity


Calls are being made for evidence on the links between diet, food and obesity as part of an inquiry. 

The House of Lords Committee on food, diet and obesity has published a call for written evidence for its inquiry into the role of foods. This includes looking at ‘ultra-processed foods’ and foods high in fat, salt and sugar, and their impact on a healthy diet and tackling obesity.

It is inviting interested individuals and organisations to submit their views on these issues.

The committee is seeking written submissions addressing any or all of the following topics in relation to food, diet and obesity in England (as well as comparisons with approaches across the rest of the UK and in other countries):

  • Key trends in food, diet and obesity, and the primary drivers of obesity. This inclides the evidential base for identifying these trends
  • The impacts of obesity on health, including on children and adolescent health outcomes
  • The influence of pre- and post-natal nutrition on the risk of subsequent obesity
  • The definition of a. ultra-processed food (UPF) and b. foods high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) and their usefulness as terminologies for describing and assessing such products
  • How consumers can recognise UPF and HFSS foods. This includes the role of labelling, packaging and advertising, the cost and availability of such foods and their impact on health outcomes.

Bowel cancer

This comes as bowel cancer death rates among the under 50s in the UK are predicted to rise.

Research shows that obesity, physical inactivity and poor diets are key factors. 

Published in Annals of Oncology, the study predicts that bowel cancer mortality is set to rise by 39% in women and by 26% in men. These figures were produced when compared with the average between 2015 and 2019.

According to Cancer Research UK, around 54% of bowel cancer cases are preventable. Causes include:

  • Eating too little fibre (28%)
  • Eating processed meat (13%)
  • Obesity (11%)
  • Drinking alcohol (6%)
  • Too little physical activity (5%).

You can submit evidence for the inquiry here here.

The deadline for submissions is 10am on Monday 8 April 2024.

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