Young people should get 20 per cent discounts on healthy food to combat child obesity, according to a campaign group set up by Jamie Oliver.

Biteback 2030 – which was launched by the celebrity chef last year to improve children’s eating habits – also said the Government should market water to young people as more attractive than soft drinks.

In a report shared exclusively with i, Biteback 2030 makes five “asks” of business and the Government.

It calls for an ‘Eat Well to Stay Well’ scheme modelled on the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out initiative.
The group said that Eat Out to Help Out showed the importance of price in changing people’s behaviour, but failed to improve the nation’s health.

Under its proposal, young people would instead get a discount on healthier options in restaurants and at shops.
The group said there was already an app in development which had the technology to offer 13 to 24-year-olds discounts for selected food items.

The app, called ‘SMASH’, was set up by Chris Holmes, a former board member at KFC and ex-managing director of ASK Italian. It is due to launch early next year and the company is already in talks with a number of fast food brands, coffee shops, restaurant chains and‘Test of concept’
Biteback 2030 said the Government should back a six month pilot giving young people a 20 per cent discount on healthy foods.

It said such an initiative could be a “test of concept”, and that if it boosted demand for healthier food this evidence could be used to inform a radical restructuring of the VAT system.

The report also calls for online junk food adverts to be banned and for free school meals to be extended to the holidays.
‘Youth pods’ and water
It says “youth pods” should be set up offering wifi and healthy food so youngsters have social spaces to meet up in which are not fast food outlets.

The report urges the Government to back a campaign to make water the “go-to drink for young people”, with every young person to be given a bottle which they can refill at no cost.

Biteback 2030 said it was working to develop “the perfect reusable water bottle for young people”, which it would launch as a pilot in low income communities.

“We will create demand for water with an influencer-led marketing campaign to make water exciting to young people with athletes and other relevant people, including at the major sporting events in summer 2021,” the report says.

“The campaign will also advocate for provision of new Covid-secure water fountains and for water-only schools.”

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