What interventions are needed to make a healthy diet accessible for everyone? Lords to hear evidence

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The House of Lords Food, Poverty, Health and the Environment Committee will hold its first evidence sessions on Tuesday 3rd September. It will ask the Food Foundation, the London Food Board, Cancer Research UK and academic experts for their views on how healthy, sustainable food can be made accessible for everyone.

The first session will focus on food policy and address the barriers affecting people’s ability to consume a healthy diet. The evidence session will begin at 11:10am and the Committee will question:

  • Anna Taylor, Executive Director of the Food Foundation
    The Food Foundation is an independent think tank that aims to present solutions to the growing challenges facing the UK’s food system in the interests of the UK public.
  • Claire Pritchard, Chair of the London Food Board
    The London Food Board is an advisory panel which advises the Greater London Assembly and the Mayor of London on the food matters that affect Londoners.
  • Professor Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy at City University London’s Centre for Food Policy
    Professor Lang founded the Centre for Food Policy in 1994 and has previously held consultant roles to the World Health Organization and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

Questions the Committee are likely to ask include:

  • What are the most significant challenges facing our food systems?
  • What barriers affect people’s ability to consume a healthy diet?
  • What role does the food industry play in influencing our diets?
  • Which interventions are most urgently needed to ensure that our food systems can be made more environmentally sustainable?

​In the second session beginning at 12:10, the committee will consider the impact a poor diet can have on health and inequalities, and how public health interventions can improve British diets. The Committee will question:

  • Professor Tim Key, Professor of Epidemiology and Deputy Director, Cancer Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford
    Professor Key’s main research interests are the roles of diet and hormones in cancer, and the health status of vegetarians and vegans.
  • Dr Christina Vogel, Principal Research Fellow in Public Health Nutrition, University of Southampton
    Dr Vogel’s research focuses on how socio-economic and psychological factors impact dietary choices, and testing interventions that are aimed at both improving dietary behaviours and reducing dietary inequalities
  • George Butterworth, Senior Policy Manager at Cancer Research UK.
    Cancer Research UK works to tackle obesity as a major risk factor for cancer. It has called for a whole-systems approach to empowering families to choose healthier diets, including restrictions on the advertising and promotion of unhealthy food.

Questions the Committee are likely to ask include:

  • Can you outline some of the key trends between diet and health outcomes in England?  Where are the greatest areas for concern?
  • How does poor diet contribute to health inequalities?
  • What public health interventions have been most successful in improving dietary behaviours and reducing health inequalities?
  • What intervention would be most effective in reducing diet-related ill health?

The Committee have called for written evidence. Entries should be submitted online using the written submission form available here.

The deadline for submission of written evidence is 12 September 2019.

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