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Government is ‘missing opportunities’ to tackle childhood obesity, MPs warn


27 March 2017

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The Government needs to take a stronger stance against cheap sales of unhealthy food and drinks, leading health MPs have said.

In their follow up report into childhood obesity, the Health Select Committee said they were ‘extremely disappointed’ to find that many of their suggestions, which could have made a more effective strategy were not included in the Government’s plan.

The Government needs to take a stronger stance against cheap sales of unhealthy food and drinks, leading health MPs have said.

In their follow up report into childhood obesity, the Health Select Committee said they were ‘extremely disappointed’ to find that many of their suggestions, which could have made a more effective strategy were not included in the Government’s plan.

The MPs urged the Government to force manufacturers to pass on the soft drinks levy to ensure there is a price differential between drinks high in sugar and those with no sugar.

The committee said this would ‘enhance the effect of the levy in encouraging low or no sugar choices’.

They added that not passing on the levy ‘would result in consumers having to cross subsidise high-sugar products’.

The MPs also called for more action to reduce portion sizes and force food and drink manufacturers to adjust their recipes to cut sugar content.

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, chair of the health committee, said: ‘We are extremely disappointed that the Government has rejected a number of our recommendations. These omissions mean that the current plan misses important opportunities to tackle childhood obesity.

‘Vague statements about seeing how the current plan turns out are inadequate to the seriousness and urgency of this major public health challenge. The Government must set clear goals for reducing overall levels of childhood obesity as well as goals for reducing the unacceptable and widening levels of inequality.’

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