Nanny state Christmas feast

Christmas dinner is the family event of the year for many, regardless of the increasing interference from nannying public health officials.

Strict guidelines endorsed by the NHS and other public health bodies set a daily limit of six grams of salt,[1] 30 grams of sugar[2] and 25 grams of saturated fats[3],[4] per individual. This note constructs a meal within these limits, demonstrating the impact these recommendations could have on the cherished Christmas feast.

Guidelines are likely to become increasingly stringent. In 2021, Henry Dimbleby conducted an independent review for the government of the country’s food intakes.[5] The report’s recommendations included sugar and salt taxes which were dismissed by prime minister Boris Johnson. However, there is due to be a white paper published by February 2022 which may propose further legislation according to Dimbleby’s recommendations.[6]

Drawing upon a range of food and drink that are staples of the British diet at Christmas, the below menu limits the quantities to match current official NHS and Drinkaware guidelines that are far more draconian than the rationing advice published at Christmas in 1945.[7]


Click here to read the research in full


Key findings

At the TaxPayers’ Alliance, we hope that those who adhere to guidelines this year enjoy their:

  • Breakfast, which includes a quarter slice of toast with two teaspoons of strawberry jam, a quarter of a flute of champagne with a tenth of a glass (15ml) of orange juice.
  • Lunch, which includes three thin slices of turkey (cooked with no salt), garnished with two tablespoons of red cabbage and one pig in blanket. One tenth of a medium glass of red wine to accompany.
  • Pudding, which includes three quarters of a teaspoon of Christmas pudding with three quarters of a teaspoon of custard.
  • And finally, one cream cracker with 7.5 grams of brie as an evening snack.


Click here to read the research in full


[1] NHS, Salt: the facts, 2021,, (accessed 7 December 2021).

[2] NHS, Sugar: the facts, 2020,, (accessed 7 December 2021).

[3] NHS, How to eat less saturated fat, 2020,, (accessed 7 December 2021).

[4] The daily maximum recommendation is 30g for men and 20g for women. Therefore, 25g is used in the calculations.

[5] Dimbleby, H., The Plan: National Food Strategy Independent Review, July 2021, p. 4.

[6] House of Lords, National Food Strategy Independent Review: Volume 814, 20 July 2021,, (accessed 13 December 2021).

[7] O’Malley, A., Christmas Recipe from the Archives, 18 December 2015,, (accessed 7 December 2021).

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience.  More info. Okay