As part of its Obesity Strategy, the Government is committed to regulating the promotion of less healthy foods to children and has dedicated £100 million of funding to support families achieve and maintain a healthier weight. The government has launched the New Better Health campaign, including a new NHS Food Scanner App, to help parents improve their children’s diet. The new ‘scan, swipe and swap’ feature for the app, provides a simple solution to help families maintain a healthier diet.
Families can scan the product barcodes from their shopping basket and the app will suggest healthier alternatives to support them to make better choices. The app uses a “Good Choice” badge to signpost people to healthier food and drinks, in accordance with the Government’s dietary recommendations for added sugar, saturated fat, and salt.
The campaign follows a record rise in obesity amongst children since the start of the pandemic, with latest data highlighting that 27.7% children of reception school age are overweight or obese; this rises to 40.9% in Year 6. Research reveals that families purchased food more during lockdowns and this remained the situation even once lockdowns ended.
A Netmum’s survey showed that 58% of parents give their children more sugary or fatty snacks than before the pandemic and 64% are worried about the healthiness of their children’s snacks. Nearly 90% of parents said they would benefit from an App which would help them make healthier choices.