Sainsbury’s chief executive, Mike Coupe, is the latest high profile figure to condemn the lack of assertiveness around Theresa May’s childhood obesity plan.
The government’s latest strategy aimed at tackling the culture of unhealthy eating in the UK has been widely criticised by medical experts and campaigners over the lack of enforcement over the policies.
Coupe criticised the plan in a letter to The Times saying: “We need compulsory and measured targets for the reduction of sugar (and other nutrients such as saturated fat) across the whole of the food and drinks industry. Nothing less will work.
”We have seen this with voluntary targets on reformulation and labelling, which led to a piecemeal response from business.”
The British Retail Consoritum supported Coupe’s views, arguing that it was “vital that this be adopted by all food companies, which is why we have argued for a mandatory approach," it said.
“The government needs to demonstrate its proposals will be equally effective and will have the same impact as would mandatory targets.”
The British Medical Association also discredited the government’s attempts to alleviate the problems burdening the NHS, saying that it May’s government had "rowed back on its promises by announcing what looks like a weak plan rather than the robust strategy it promised".
The main criticisms of the government’s measures have largely centred on the voluntary action by the food and drink industry and the absence of any restrictions on junk food marketing and advertising.