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Call for evidence launched on the links between food, diet and obesity

19 February 2024

The House of Lords Committee on Food, Diet and Obesity has today published a call for written evidence for its inquiry into the role of foods, such as ‘ultra-processed foods’, and foods high in fat, salt and sugar, in a healthy diet and tackling obesity. It is inviting interested individuals and organisations to submit their views on these issues.


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

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 keen to hear from a diverse range of individuals and organisations.

Key issues

The Committee is seeking written submissions addressing any or all of the following topics in relation to food, diet and obesity in England (as well as comparisons with approaches across the rest of the UK and in other countries).

  • Key trends in food, diet and obesity, and the primary drivers of obesity, including the evidential base for identifying these trends.
  • The impacts of obesity on health, including on children and adolescent health outcomes, and the influence of pre- and post-natal nutrition on the risk of subsequent obesity.
  • 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.
  • How consumers can recognise UPF and HFSS foods, including the role of labelling, packaging and advertising, the cost and availability of such foods and their impact on health outcomes.
  • The role of the food and drink industry in driving food and diet trends and on the policymaking process.
  • Lessons learned from international policy and practice, and from the devolved administrations, on diet-related obesity prevention.
  • The effectiveness of Government planning and policymaking processes in relation to food and drink policy and tackling obesity, including the impact of recent policy tools and legislative measures intended to prevent obesity.
  • Future policy tools that could prove effective in preventing obesity.

The deadline for submissions is 10:00am on Monday 8 April 2024

Further information