Fighting Fat

A Role for Food Retailers

Your customers' waistlines are a matter of national importance. The UK government is continuing to face pressure to do more to reduce the prevalence of obesity and reduce the £5.1 billion bill to the NHS due to managing obesity-related diseases like Type 2 diabetes.

We have calculated that the UK needs to lose around 343 million kilograms of fat. Tackling this problem is going to require a radical step-change in how everyday people understand nutrition, exercise, and how they use that information to change their habits. In this report, we suggest ways that large retailers can help their customers create a virtuous cycle of behaviour change that improves their weight and health while also delivering a real benefit to the business' brands and bottom line.

Dr Nick Harrison
By providing customers with an easy route to increased wellness, grocers could address the problem of falling market share and negate any possible price wars that lie ahead
Dr Nick Harrison Partner and European Retail Practice Co-Leader

Fighting Fat Fact File

Duncan Brewer Answers 3 Questions
  • 1Why did you write Fighting Fat?

    With obesity and sugar consumption high on the media agenda in the UK, there have been some claims and counter-claims as to who is responsible and where the solution lies. We were concerned that none of the ideas we heard seemed to have any benefit to the bottom-line profits of food retailers – so we came up with a solution that did.

  • 2How can grocery businesses reduce the obesity crisis in the UK?

    If a food retailer could bundle together the historically fragmented approaches of managing obesity – such as community health checks, promotion of physical activity, and food labelling initiatives – into one programme, then they will not only have a great customer proposition but they will also create a direct benefit to the wellbeing of people nationwide.

  • 3What scale of impact could a retailer-led wellness initiative have on UK obesity?

    We estimate that this programme could help the overweight and obese population reduce its calorie intake by 50kcal per day, creating an annual average weight loss of 2.5kg per participant. Over three years, we calculate this would move 2.8 million people out of the obesity category (BMI>25kg/m2).

Fighting Fat