Public health officials in the UK are calling on people in the UK to reduce their calorie intake in a bid to cut back on levels of obesity and related conditions, which are putting a huge strain on healthcare resources.
Under the banner of its new One You campaign, Public Health England is encouraging adults to consume 400 calories at breakfast, 600 for lunch and 600 for dinner.
The food industry is also being asked to slash calories in products consumed by families by 20 percent by 2024, with products such as pizzas, ready meals, ready-made sandwiches and savoury products to be first in line.
The move comes on the back of new evidence estimating that overweight or obese boys and girls consume up to 500 and 290 calories too many each day, respectively, while adults are consuming and excess of 200 to 300 calories daily.
Aside from detrimental affects on health, obesity leads to conditions that directly cost the NHS around £6 billion a year to treat, and also impacts on employment, earnings and wider economic productivity.
According to PHE, if the 20 percent target is met within five years, more than 35,000 premature deaths could be prevented and around £9 billion in NHS healthcare and social care costs could be saved over a 25-year period.
“There can be no doubt that obesity is now one of our greatest challenges - one that is fuelling an epidemic of preventable illnesses like type 2 diabetes and cancer. These not only shorten lives but put unsustainable pressure on our health service,” said Steve Brine, public health and social care minister.
“We have a responsibility to act, which is why we are supporting families to make the healthy choice. Our calorie reduction programme – the first of its kind from any country in the world – will continue to build on the progress of our world-leading childhood obesity plan, which has led to positive steps by industry.”