Steve Barclay:
It’s Time For An End to Misleading Health Labels

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Big food businesses are manipulating all of us into thinking their products are healthy — when really, they’re packed with fat, sugar and salt.

We published our “Don’t Hide What’s Inside” report at the end of last year and the findings were shocking. Half of teens buy products based on the health and nutrition claims on the packaging, yet 57% of products are so high in fat, sugar and salt that they would receive a red traffic light label.

^ We launched this report last year!

We’re fed up with being deliberately exploited by big food companies and so we decided to take action! We spent months developing and launching ‘müd’ — our new snack bar which is high in fibre, a great source of minerals and low in fat.

^ Looks lovely, doesn't it?

It’s called müd because that’s what it is — mud. We didn’t tell any lies on the label — müd really is all those things — but the health claims hide what is really inside. And this is what big businesses like Kellogg’s and Müller are doing right now.

^ All true, but misleading!

We just want them to be honest and transparent with consumers and to stop putting health and nutrition claims on unhealthy products. But we know they won’t do so on their own accord.

So, we’re calling on the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Steve Barclay, to take action and introduce a clear, mandatory labelling policy in the UK, including regulation to end the use of health and nutrition claims on unhealthy products. It’s time to protect child health. Will you send him an email today?

Take Action Now!

Click to see the email

Dear Secretary of State,

I am writing to you as the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in charge of protecting the health of our children.

I believe every young person deserves access to healthy, nutritious food, no matter where they live — but right now, that’s not our reality. I’m a supporter of Bite Back 2030, a youth-led campaign for every child’s right to be able to access healthy and nutritious food, and read their latest research into the impacts of misleading health and nutrition claims on young people’s health. 

The “Don’t Hide What’s Inside” report found that 73% of young people think their diet is healthy, but this is far from the case. Young people are consuming products like smoothies, yoghurts and cereal bars because they’re marketed as ‘healthy’ — when in reality, many of them have high levels of fat, sugar and salt. This has to stop.

We need big food businesses to be honest and transparent with consumers and to stop putting health and nutrition claims on unhealthy products. But I know they will not do so of their own accord.

Will you introduce clear, mandatory labelling policies that protect child health, including an end to health and nutrition claims on products high in fat, sugar and salt?

I sincerely hope this is a campaign you will support and look forward to hearing your response. 

Thank you,

The data stuff: by clicking ‘send an emaill’, you’re giving us permission to email you about Bite Back 2030 and our mission to ensure all children have access to healthy, nutritious food. You can unsubscribe anytime! Our privacy policy is here.

Thank You For Emailing STEVE BARCLAY

The more emails we send to the Health Secretary, the bigger our impact. Now, will you ask your friends and family to also send an email?

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nature's favourite snack

“This might give people a laugh, but we’re serious. The food system is rigged against our health and whilst it should be easy to eat healthily, it isn’t. Right now, the health of one in three 11 year olds is at risk from the food they eat, so we need the Health Secretary to step in and introduce clear, mandatory labelling policies that protect our health. In the meantime Kellogg’s and the other big food brands should do the responsible thing and be more honest about what’s in their products.”

Becky Odoi

18 years old, London

Don't Hide What's Inside

Our Research

We want to shine a spotlight on the manipulative tactics companies use to con us into eating foods that are bad for our health, and great for their profits. But how powerful are these tactics really? Do they actually impact how we think and eat?

In 2021, we spoke to 1,000 young people aged 13-18 across the UK — and it turns out these manipulative tactics are so effective it’s scary!

We looked at the real ingredients of 500 products commonly consumed by teenagers, with health and nutrition claims in their marketing. Over half are high in either salt, saturated fat or sugar, and would get a red traffic light label. Smoothies, cereal bars and yoghurts were amongst the worst offenders. These products’ marketing tactics appear to be working with 1 in 2 saying they are influenced by health claims on products and 73% of teens believing they are eating healthily.

We simply want food and drink brands to be upfront and honest about the things they put inside their products. Read our full report and take action to pressure the food industry to prioritise child health!

Download the Report

The data stuff: by clicking ‘downloadl’, you’re giving us permission to email you about Bite Back 2030 and our mission to ensure all children have access to healthy, nutritious food. You can unsubscribe anytime! Our privacy policy is here.

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“All of us have trust issues, but I didn’t expect to have trust issues with the food system too. Isn’t everyone tired of the lack of transparency and honesty in the food system?”

Emily
Bite Back 2030 Youth Board

Don't Hide What's Inside

Key Findings

Almost 9 in 10 young people think smoothies are healthy, but 76% of juices and smoothies would get a red traffic light label. 
8 in 10 young people are led to believe cereal bars are healthy, but 81% would get a red traffic light label.
9 in 10 young people think yoghurts are healthy, but 35% of the flavoured yoghurts people are eating would get a red traffic light label.
66% of participants believe ‘low in sugar’ or ‘no added sugar’ made a product healthy — but our research found loads of products making these claims while hiding the truth about their other unhealthy ingredients.

Bite Back 2030

About US

We believe every young person deserves access to healthy, nutritious food — no matter where they live. We’re a youth-led movement fighting to make that world a reality. 

From Christina Adane, the British teenager who mobilised half a million people to force the government to provide free school meals during the holidays, to Dev Sharma, the 17 year old who lobbied Boris Johnson to end all online advertising of junk food — we are here for every young person who wants to protect their own health and future.  

We need you to back us up. Please join our movement, and we’ll use your voice to pressure big business and government to act urgently for child health. 

learn More

Join the movement

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