The letter was signed by 97 UK health organisations, academic experts and individual campaigners, including Anna Taylor executive director of the Food Foundation, chef Jamie Oliver and Chris Askew chief executive of Diabetes UK.
The OHA believes the UK can reduce obesity levels by expanding the soft drinks levy, creating healthier retail environments, improving school and hospital food as well as protecting children from junk food marketing.
The letter states: “The pandemic has exposed and exacerbated the brutal health inequalities that exist within our society, and we know that inequalities in rates of overweight and obesity amongst children are increasing, along with stark inequalities in other diet-related conditions such as dental decay. In order to level up the country, and ensure every child has the best start in life, this must be addressed.
“We share your vision of a healthier population. Allowing the online environment to continue to be flooded with adverts for fast-food, crisps and confectionery limits the need for industry to change its behaviour and will significantly undermine other Government efforts to improve public health. Now is the time for ambitious, world-leading policies that put health first and are not weakened by vested interests.”