Charlotte Street Partners

DAILY BRIEFING

DAILY BRIEFING

Junk food junkies

Written by Maria Julia Pieraccioni, researcher
Edited by Iain Gibson, associate partner
25 June 2021

Good morning,

In 1976, Larry Groce was catapulted to stardom, thanks to his country-rock hit “Junk Food Junkies”. Groce sings, “In the daytime I’m Mr. Natural/ Just as healthy as I can be/ But at night I’m a junk food junkie”. An innocent enough jingle, expected to be played in waiting rooms or on service operator phone holds.

Except, his lyrics now echo throughout Whitehall.

The Department of Health and Social Care has announced a new watershed on television advertising of foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) between 5.30am and 9pm. This UK-wide ban extends to paid-for online advertising as well and follows an extensive public consultation in light of the UK government’s continuing efforts to tackle child obesity. Commenting on the ban, Jo Churchill, the public health minister, said that it’s a necessary measure to “get the nation fitter and healthier by giving people the chance to make more informed decisions when it comes to food”.

As expected, the ban has been praised by many organisations fighting to eradicate obesity and labelled draconian by industry representatives. However, most poignantly, the ban raises some serious questions regarding its ability to make a real impact on the UK’s eating habits.

On the one hand, the latest NHS Health Survey for England found that 28% of adults in England are obese, which can lead to greater risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and other ailments. A further 36.2% are overweight but not obese. That means that over half the English population is overweight. Furthermore, childhood obesity starts in children as little as 4-5 (9.9%), increasing at 10-11 where 21% are obese. Yet, the National Child Measurement Programme adds a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it statistic that is wholly key to understanding where the problem is most acute: at age 10-11, 13.9% of children in the least deprived areas are obese, compared with a whopping 27.2% in the most deprived areas.

These data points are astonishing but not surprising: childhood obesity is linked to adulthood obesity, and, at the same time, obesity is also a by-product of cheaper eating habits. As the 2019/2020 National Child Measurement Programme report indicates, the most underserved areas in the UK also exhibit the highest levels of childhood obesity. The ban on advertising foods high in fat, sugar, and salt will not make a difference to eating habits that entirely depend on high-calorie, low-cost foods.

Government initiatives such as calorie-labelling and bans on advertising HFSS food are plasters on a much deeper wound.

News

A woman in Scotland has died from cervical cancer after it was revealed that more than 400 women were excluded from routine cervical cancer screenings. Maree Todd, the Scottish public health minister commented that the dire oversight is due to faults in Scotland’s cervical cancer screening programme.

George Eustice, the UK’s environment secretary, has criticised German chancellor Angela Merkel’s demand to restrict UK holidaymakers from visiting the EU. Merkel supported the demand, claiming that these measures were necessary to prevent the spread of the Delta variant on the continent. (£)

The Sun reports, in a scoop now being widely followed up elsewhere, that Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been having an affair with a government aide. The revelation is seemingly supported by CCTV images, and at the time of writing there has been no comment from the minister.

A building in north Miami has collapsed overnight, leaving one dead and 51 unaccounted for. Half of the 130-units collapsed suddenly, although the reason is still under investigation.

Business and economy

The Bank of England has forecasted that inflation will rise above 3% this year, although they reassured it will be a transitory development. Initial trends had forecasted that inflation would peak at 2.5% but consumer demand and a pick-up in energy prices have altered initial forecasts. (£)

Speaking at the Times CEO Summit, Chancellor Rishi Sunak vowed to ensure that post-Covid economic growth will be “felt more evenly across the country”. The Chancellor also reassured that despite the Bank of England inflation forecasts, inflation will not spiral out of control.

At the heels of plans to consolidate workplace pension plans in the UK, industry experts have warned that retirement savers could be left worse off and incur the cost of these mergers. Moreover, industry experts warned that moving savings could be risky in terms of market timing. (£)

Columns of note

In his piece for The Observer, Kenan Malik explores the nuances of gender politics in the now-infamous fight between Nigerian authors Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Akwaeke Emezi. Displayed for the world to see on social media, the point of the fight between Adichie and Emezi were their contrasting stances on transgender women. Without entering into the merit of the discussion, Malik comments that, “the growth of the politics of identity has placed people into silos and ensured that disagreement is often seen as a challenge to one’s being”. He follows up and suggests that these types of challenges often detract from the real-life problems that trans men and women face.

The EU’s vaccine rollout rate has been criticised from the beginning: when the UK and the US were agreeing on multi-million-dollar deals to secure vaccines, the EU was “agonising over the cost and wasting time on haggling”. This piece in The Economist redeems the EU, with research backing its trend that forecast that by July 14th more doses will have been administered per person in the EU than in the US. As they say, better late than never. (£)

Cartoon source: The Telegraph

Markets

What happened yesterday?

After the Bank of England comments yesterday, sterling dropped 0.4% from its strongest levels against the euro in April, trading at €1.1649. It also fell 0.4% against the dollar, trading at $1.3896. Conversely, the FTSE 100 index, comprised of many export companies, closed the day up 0.6%, benefiting from a weaker pound.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 index rose 0.9%, benefiting from the Ifo Institute’s optimistic business climate index, which climbed to a higher-than-expected reading. Elsewhere in the US, the Nasdaq Composite hit peak 0.9% during the day, followed by the S&P 500, which hit 0.7% increase. This comes at the heels of the Fed’s tilt to slow down investment in value stocks such as energy and banking, in order to ensure more steady and reliable market cycles in post-Covid recovery.

What’s happening today?

Finals

Jade Road Inv

Norman Broadb

AGMs

Cadogan

Entain

Heiq

Hemogenyx

Inspiration Hlt

Metalnrg Plc 

Norman Broadb

Gazprom Ads 1

Proton Mtr Pwr

SDX Energy

Serabi

Tata Cons. Regs

Tesco

Tiziana Life Sc

Annual reports

Castings

Jade Road Inv

Final Dividend Payment Date

Foresight Technology

Frenkel Topping

H&t Group Plc

Keller 

Learning Technologies Group

Sec Newgate

Spectra (Unres)

Vivo Energy

Interim Dividend Payment Date

Aberdeen Emic

Abdn.new Thai

Abstd Equityinc

Abstd Euro Log.

Blackrock Fr 

Euromoney  

Evraz 

Fair Oaks Inc21

Fair Oaks Inc R

Hend.eur.focus

Henderson Opportunity Trust

Home Reit

IntegraFin Holdings

Jersey Electricity

Jlen Env

Jupiter Emerg.

Orchard Funding

Riverstone Cred

Schroder Real

Titon  

Town Centre

Triple Pnt Soc

Triple Point 11

Quarterly Ex-Dividend Payment Date

Gen.electric

Quarterly Payment Date

Blackrock Wld

Honeycomb Inv.

Rm Secured

Special Dividend Payment Date

Seneca Growth

UK Economic Announcements

(00:01) GFK Consumer Confidence

International Economic Announcements

(07:00) GFK Consumer Confidence (GER)

(09:00) M3 Money Supply (EU)

(13:30) Personal Consumption Expenditures (US)

(13:30) Personal Income (US)

(13:30) Personal Spending (US)

(15:00) U. of Michigan Confidence (US)

Source: Financial Times

did you know

One of the earliest meanings of the word ‘fact’ in English is ‘an evil deed’. (source: QI Twitter)

Parliamentary highlights

House of Commons

The House of Commons is not sitting and will next sit on 28 June.

House of Lords 

Legislation

Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill [HL] – second reading

Office of the Whistleblower Bill [HL] – second reading

Higher Education Cheating Services Prohibition Bill [HL] – second reading

Scottish parliament 

No business scheduled.

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