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New campaign launched to help parents improve children's diet

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.