Healthy food campaigners target the UK government’s ‘healthy eating’ app

Healthy food campaigners target the UK government’s ‘healthy eating’ app

A Soil Association investigation has revealed that the NHS Food Scanner App recommends biscuits, cakes, crisps, chocolate puddings and fizzy pop as “good” options for a healthy diet. Energy drinks and instant noodles are also endorsed by the app.

The app – which has been downloaded at least half a million times – was launched as part of the UK government’s Better Health campaign. It aims to help families “take control” of snacking and awards a “Good Choice” thumbs up if a product falls below its threshold of salt, sugar or saturated fat.

But the Soil Association investigation tested the app on popular snack products and found that 80% of a sample of products with the “Good Choice” badge or similar endorsements were ultra-processed. These products are linked to heart, kidney and liver disease, cancer, depression and premature death.

With these potentially life-shortening foods making up more than half of UK diets, and children particularly at risk, the organization has launched a petition urging the government to stop promoting them.

Soil Association Campaign Coordinator Cathy Cliff said: “We are shocked to see the government not only ignoring the health risks around ultra-processed foods but actively encouraging families to consume them. It seems like the government is more concerned about corporate profits than children’s health.

“When every penny counts, it is near criminal that families are being misled to waste money on junk food that doesn’t fill you up with anything other than health risks.

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