Government 'nowhere near' target of halving child obesity
Government 'nowhere near' target of halving child obesity
11 October, 2019, 17:58
The government should ban eating and drinking on public transport to help curb childhood obesity, the outgoing chief medical officer has said.
Dame Sally said the systems of applying Value-Added Tax to food that may not be aligned with healthy eating advice contributed to healthy food and drink often being pricier than unhealthy options.
And she said more must be done to stop youngsters being "dazzled by companies" offering junk food, saying children are "drowning in a flood of unhealthy food and drink options".
Do you think we should ban eating on public transport?
As mentioned earlier, she also recommends that all publicly-funded sporting facilities and major sporting events only advertise and sell low calorie, low fat, salt and or sugar products, and supply free and accessible drinking water.
Boris Johnson expressed concerns in July about "stealth sin taxes" and the "continuing creep of the nanny state".
"Our world-leading childhood obesity plan will help all families by making the healthiest choice the easiest choice, whether at home, at school, or at play".
Katharine Jenner, at Action on Sugar, said Davies's "brave call for bold action is a beacon of hope" and that unhealthy foods and drinks urgently need to be taken out of the spotlight by restricting promotions and marketing ̶ a move that could only be achieved through legislation, she added.
Some of the health impacts of childhood obesity are asthma, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and joint pain - all of which would rely on the NHS for treatment.
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Probably the most eye-catching proposal is the banning of eating and drinking on public transport.
'Unhealthy options appear to flow freely, flooding high streets, shops and checkouts'.
- Introduce mandatory standards for the nutritional content of foods for children aged under two.
If the government failed to take such actions, they would be sending out a message that they did not put children first, she said.
The report, which is aimed at current and future politicians and policy makers, further outlines how the obesity crisis is fuelling a rising number of children with type 2 diabetes; something that was almost non-existent pre-2000.
Last month, a report from PHE said food firms are failing to cut sugar fast enough, with puddings and candies actually getting more sugary and people consuming more sugar overall.
'Companies often use children's cartoon characters and sponsorship of major sporting events to market these items, casting them as the shining star in children's minds, ' she said. Children are explicitly targeted with sophisticated techniques.
Dame Sally suggested BBC Radio 4's On the original time programme: "Now we hang to up our vaccination rates. Her thirst for taxing things is only exceeded by her thirst for banning things", he said. As many as 90,000 adolescents may be eligible for bariatric surgery - but fewer than 10 stomach-shrinking operations are done on this age group every year. "The health of our children is in your hands".
"The Government ambition is to halve childhood obesity by 2030 - in England, we are nowhere near achieving this", she writes in her report.
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