Between the Lines: Junk-food efforts pay off

The Government's climbdown on its threat to ban junk-food ads (page 1) will come as welcome news to an industry that has made significant strides to promote healthier alternatives to high-fat, high-sugar foods.

The latest moves to include the Government's healthy-lifestyle messages on packaging and introduce tighter controls on the use of celebrities are further steps in the right direction and now it seems the industry's efforts are paying off.

Much of the success in changing the minds of senior ministers is owing to the efforts of Gavin Neath, the Unilever UK chairman, who has been lobbying the Government tirelessly since he took on the role of president of the Food and Drink Federation at the start of this year.

He believes that the only way to reach agreement on this highly politicised issue is to work closely with the Government. In March, he said the group had yet to build an "effective working relationship" with the Department of Health. It looks as though he has been successful in forging that relationship since.


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