The Public Health Responsibility Deal (PHRD) − which seeks to enlist food manufacturers and others in improving the national diet − is working well on a voluntary basis, health secretary Jeremy Hunt told PHRD partners in a letter today.
“I am impressed with the progress made through the Responsibility Deal,” he wrote. “The actions taken – from calorie labelling in- and out-of-home settings, to moves to reduce the calorie content of foods; from better labelling of alcoholic drinks to reducing unit strength; from increased levels of physical activity to better health at work – show that all of you take the health of your employees, customers and communities seriously.”
‘More partners to sign up’
But he added that there was more work to do to increase “the reach and impact of the Responsibility Deal through encouraging more partners to sign up”.
Hunt said it was important to ensure there were appropriate pledges for all sectors and, where appropriate, developing new pledges.
Hunt re-affirmed that his priorities were improving survival rates from “the big killer diseases” such as heart disease and cancer. “There is clear evidence that a better diet, responsible drinking and greater levels of physical activity would help to meet this aim.”
Meanwhile, food manufacturers yesterday (November 15) promised to add more fruit and vegetables to ready meals, as part of the PHRD pledge.