The BBC reports that UK’s Prime Minister has said a government-commissioned review of the food we eat was likely to contain good ideas, but he did not want to impact “hard-working people”.
The review, led by businessman Henry Dimbleby, said taxes raised could extend free school meal provision and support better diets among the poorest.
England’s National Food Strategy also suggested GPs prescribe fruit and veg.
Mr Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said the PM would “carefully consider” the report, and promised the government would respond with proposals for future laws in six months’ time.
Meanwhile, the food industry warned new taxes on wholesale sugar and salt could lead to higher food prices in shops.
Ian Wright, of the Food and Drink Federation, which represents manufacturers, said obesity and food was very much about poverty. “We need measures to tackle poverty and to help people to make choices they need to make,” he said.
The review says historic reforms of the food system are needed to protect the NHS, improve the health of the nation and save the environment.
The new taxes would be applied to wholesale sugar and salt purchased by manufacturers, which could in turn raise some prices on shelves.
But Mr Dimbleby said: “We do not actually believe that for most things it will hike the price – what it will do is it will reformulate, it will make people take sugar and salt out.”
The review describes the Covid-19 pandemic as a “painful reality check” that has revealed the scale of food-related ill-health.
“Our high obesity rate has been a major factor in the UK’s tragically high death rate,” said Mr Dimbleby, who co-founded the fast food chain Leon.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the focus should turn to preventing people getting to the NHS.