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Cut junk food, says NICE guidance on cardiovascular disease prevention
  1. Simon Capewell1,
  2. Klim McPherson2
  1. 1Division of Public Health, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
  2. 2Oxford University Women's Centre, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headington, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Simon Capewell, Division of Public Health, University of Liverpool, Whelan Building, Quadrangle, Liverpool L69 3GB, UK; capewell{at}

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Over 40 000 lives could be saved in the UK, and millions of people spared the suffering of living with the effects of heart disease and stroke, simply by producing healthier food states new NICE guidance published on 22 June.1 The guidance calls for the food industry to further reduce the salt and saturated fats in the food it produces, building on the good work already started.

In the UK, over five million men and women are living with the devastating and disabling effects of cardiovascular disease—mainly heart disease and stroke. Over 40 000 people die from premature cardiovascular disease (CVD) each year.2 However, premature CVD is largely preventable by making simple changes to diet, smoking and physical activity.3

This new guidance from NICE therefore focuses mainly on food production and its powerful influence on the nation's diet. This is the first time that all of the evidence has been brought together in one place on what works in improving food production, together with the figures showing how much health could be improved. The NICE recommendations are aimed at making small changes across the whole population, because these will actually translate into surprisingly large improvements in health overall.1

The NICE guidance focuses on structural changes to the social environment: in other words, what government and industry can do to make it easier for people to make healthy choices, by producing food in a …

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  • Competing interests SC and KMcP were members of the NICE Programme Development Group on CVD prevention in populations. However, the conclusions do not necessarily reflect official NICE views.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.

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