National targets are set out in “National Standards Local Action: Health and Social Care Standards and Planning Framework 2005-06-2007-08”. For obesity, the current target is to tackle the underlying determinants of ill health and health inequalities by halting the year on year rise in obesity in children under 11 by 2010 in the context of a broader strategy to tackle obesity in the population as a whole. Any local targets are set and performance- managed at a local level.
The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) supports the dietary recommendations set out by the committee on medical aspects of food policy (COMA). Dietary reference values for nutrients form the basis of nutrient recommendations on dietary intakes and are used for assessing the adequacy of diets. For adults the recommendations are:
a reference nutrient intake of four grams of salt per day, and a target reduction in the average population intake of salt to six grams per day for adults. Lower targets have been set for children according to age;
energy intake recommendations are set according to age, body weight and physical activity levels;
total fat intake should average 35 per cent., of energy derived from food; and
saturated fats— an average for the population of 10 per cent. total dietary energy.
All the above recommendations of SACN and its predecessor, COMA, are endorsed by the Department and the Food Standards Agency.