written evidence

BMA HoL8.4.24

25 March 2024 – Food, Diet and Obesity – Oral evidence

Committee Food, Diet and Obesity Committee
Inquiry Food, Diet and Obesity

At 2:15pm: Oral evidence Inquiry Food, Diet and Obesity
Prof Carlos Monteiro Professor of Nutrition and Public Health at University of Sao Paulo
Prof Barry Popkin Professor of Nutrition at University of North Carolina
Prof Camila Corvalán Professor at the Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA) at University of Chile
At 3:30pm: Oral evidence Inquiry Food, Diet and Obesity
Dr Kevin Hall. National Institutes of Health, United States of America (USA) Federal Government
Dr Mathilde Touvier Research Director at Inserm
Prof Susan Jebb Professor of Diet and Population Health at The University of Oxford


7 March 2024 – Food, Diet and Obesity – Oral evidence

Committee Food, Diet and Obesity Committee
Inquiry Food, Diet and Obesity


Dr Vicky Sibson. Director at First Steps Nutrition Trust
Kristin Bash Chair at Food Special Interest Group, Faculty of Public Health
Prof Lucilla Poston CBE Professor of Maternal & Fetal Health at Kings College London


Call for Evidence

Written submissions

1.    Aim of the Inquiry

The House of Lords Select Committee on Food, Diet and Obesity was appointed on 24 January 2024. It is chaired by Baroness Walmsley and will report by 30 November 2024.

This inquiry will consider the role of foods, such as ‘ultra-processed foods’ (UPFs) and foods high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) in a healthy diet, including how they influence health outcomes. It will assess how shifts in behaviours and trends have impacted obesity, how government policies have influenced these shifts, and the role of the industry and the wider public in the public health landscape.

This is a public call for written evidence to be submitted to the Committee. The deadline is 10:00am on Monday 8 April 2024. The Committee is keen to hear from a diverse range of individuals and organisations.

2.    Questions

The Committee will not focus on obesity treatment (such as medication or physical therapy) or the impact on the environment of food, as it is specifically concerned with the links between food, a healthy diet and tackling obesity. Where possible submissions should make reference to relevant research and/or evidence to support the Committee to make evidence-based recommendations. The Committee is seeking written submissions addressing any or all of the following topics in relation to food, diet and obesity in England:

  1. Key trends in food, diet and obesity, and the evidential base for identifying these trends.
  2. The primary drivers of obesity both amongst the general population and amongst distinct population and demographic groups.
  3. The impacts of obesity on health, including on children and adolescent health outcomes.
  4. The influence of pre- and post-natal nutrition on the risk of subsequent obesity, and the specific influences on the diet of children and adolescents that contribute to the risk of becoming obese.
  5. The definition of a) ultra-processed food (UPF) and b) foods high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) and their usefulness as terminologies for describing and assessing such products.
  6. How consumers can recognise UPF and HFSS foods, including the role of labelling, packaging and advertising.
  7. The cost and availability of a) UPF and b) HFSS foods and their impact on health outcomes.
  8. The role of the food and drink industry in driving food and diet trends and on the policymaking process.
  9. Lessons learned from international policy and practice, and from the devolved administrations, on diet-related obesity prevention.
  10. The effectiveness of Government planning and policymaking processes in relation to food and drink policy and tackling obesity.
  11. The impact of recent policy tools and legislative measures intended to prevent obesity.
  12. Policy tools that could prove effective in preventing obesity amongst the general population, including those focussed on the role of the food and drink industry in tackling obesity.

3.    Guidance for submissions

Submitting written evidence

Written submissions may be submitted online in Word document format using the written submission form available at https://committees.parliament.uk/submission/#/evidence/3344/preamble. This page also provides guidance on submitting evidence. All submissions made through the written submission form should receive an on-screen confirmation once the evidence has been submitted.

If you have difficulty making a written submission on the online portal for any reason, you may contact us in a number of ways:

  • Via email: HLFoodDietObesity@parliament.uk
  • Via social media: Send us a tweet or direct message @HLFoodObesity
  • Via post: Clerk to the Select Committee on Food, Diet and Obesity, Committee Office, House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW

Guidelines for written evidence

Short, concise submissions are preferred, and submissions longer than 6 pages should include a one-page summary. Please ensure the submission is free of logos and signatures. Paragraphs should be numbered, and submissions should be dated.

Submissions should make a note of the author’s name, and of whether the author is acting in an individual or corporate capacity. Submissions with a university or college address should make clear whether they are submitted in an individual capacity or on behalf of the university or college.

Witnesses to parliamentary committees are not as a rule required to declare their interests. However, for the sake of transparency, the Committee wishes to give those submitting written evidence the opportunity voluntarily to declare any interests they deem relevant to the work of the Committee and its inquiry, and to set these out within the written evidence submitted and subsequently published.

You should be careful not to comment on individual cases currently before a court of law or matters in respect of which court proceedings are imminent. If you anticipate such issues arising, you should discuss with the Clerk to the Committee via email how this might affect your submission.

The Committee cannot accept anything that has not been prepared specifically in response to this call for evidence, or that has been published elsewhere.

All substantive communications between witnesses and the committee, whether or not intended to constitute formal evidence, should be directed through the committee staff or Chair, both in the call for evidence and in any subsequent invitation to give oral evidence, to avoid any danger of improper influence on the work of the committee.

Accepting evidence

Submissions become the property of the Committee, which will decide whether to accept them as evidence. Once you have received acknowledgement via email that your submission has been accepted as evidence, you may publicise or publish it yourself, but in doing so you must indicate that it was prepared for the Committee. If you publish your evidence separately, you should be aware that you will be legally responsible for its content.


Evidence that is accepted by the Committee may be published online at any stage; when it is published it becomes subject to parliamentary copyright and is protected by parliamentary privilege. It will normally appear on the Committee’s website and will be deposited in the Parliamentary Archives.

Personal contact details will be removed from evidence before publication but will be retained by the Committee Office and used for specific purposes relating to the Committee’s work, for instance to seek additional information.

In certain circumstances the Committee may be prepared to accept submissions but not to publish them, in whole or in part. If you would like to submit evidence on this basis you should first discuss this with the Clerk to the Committee via email.

Oral evidence

Persons who submit written evidence, and others, may be invited to give oral evidence. Oral evidence is usually given in public and broadcast online; transcripts are produced and published online. Persons invited to give oral evidence will be notified separately of the procedure to be followed and the topics likely to be discussed. We envisage that public hearings will take place in public, however they may take place in a hybrid or virtual setting.

Further details

Substantive communications to the Committee about the inquiry should be addressed to the Clerk, whether or not they are intended to constitute formal evidence to the Committee. You may follow the progress of the inquiry at the following link: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/698/food-diet-and-obesity-committee/


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