City Corporation commits to tackling obesity among Londoners

The City of London Corporation today [4 October] pledged to tackle obesity and promote healthier choices by signing the Local Government Declaration on Sugar Reduction and Healthier Food.

By promoting the Mayor of London’s Healthy Workplace Charter and other campaigns, such as Change4Life and SUGAR SMART, the City Corporation will support the local business community to help their workforce make healthier choices.

Healthier food will be offered through its own catering contracts, and the City Corporation will encourage external events hosted on its sites to offer healthier menu options. The possibility of introducing a healthy eating accreditation for local food outlets will be explored and the City Corporation will ensure its procurement practices align with wider objectives to support local communities to live more healthily.

The City Corporation is already installing up to eight new drinking fountains across the Square Mile over the next 12 months to help reduce plastic waste and improve public health – bringing the total to 16.

At ground level, the organisation has pledged to enhance the range of healthy drinks and foods available in many public-facing outlets under its control, such as the Barbican, the Mansion House and the Old Bailey.

Pupils at local schools, including the City of London School and City of London School for Girls, will also benefit from a recently refreshed offering within their canteens.

To sign the Declaration, which is run by the charity Sustain, local authorities must commit to take at least six different actions across the following key areas:

  1. Tackle advertising and sponsorship
  2. Improve the food controlled or influenced by the council
  3. Reduce prominence of sugary drinks and promote free drinking water
  4. Support businesses and organisations to improve their food offer
  5. Public events
  6. Raise public awareness

Joyce Nash, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Health and Wellbeing Board, said:

“We want to make it easier for people to make healthy choices. Almost half a million people work in the Square Mile, and millions of adults and schoolchildren visit our world-famous attractions across London each year.

“Unhealthy, high-fat and highly-processed foods and drinks contribute to obesity in both adults and children.

“By changing London’s food environment, alongside the capital’s local authorities we aim to help support healthier behaviours.

“We want to make it clear that people have a choice, by ensuring that healthier options are always available.”

Obesity is on the increase amongst both adults and children in the UK. According to Public Health England, a quarter of adults’ calories and one-fifth of children’s come from food consumed outside the home.

Committing to a healthy food and drink environment in the Square Mile is good news for everyone who works, lives, visits, or does business in the area, bringing benefits to London and beyond. The full list of the City Corporation’s Declaration pledges can be found here.

Notes to editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

The Declaration is an initiative run by Sustain – the alliance for better food and farming, which advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals.

  • The full list of the City Corporation’s pledges can be found here.
  • Approximately 7,500 people live in the City of London and in 2016, it received 18.8 million visitors.