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Childhood Obesity

Posted 20 days ago | 30.05.19

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Childhood Obesity

The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has asked Professor Dame Sally Davies, England’s Chief Medical Officer, to produce a report on unhealthy foods and their relationship to childhood obesity, by September, with a series of recommendations for the government.

She says experts on nutrition, science and public health and representatives from the food and drink industry will all be asked to contribute their ideas. She says she is considering taxing unhealthy food to persuade parents to buy more fresh fruit and vegetables.

When she was asked why a further  strategy on cutting childhood obesity was required, she said she regretted  that the processes taking so long, but that public consultations have to be done properly and that took time.

Despite the fact that the food industry say that taxes will not change consumer behaviour, she has been asked to urgently review what more can be done to meet the government's target of halving childhood obesity by 2030. A tax on added sugar in baby food and on high-calorie food such as pizzas and cakes are on the cards.

Based on the success of the tax on sugary drinks introduced in April 2018, Dame Sally she said fiscal measures could be used in other ways to help families live healthier lives. She suggested that parents could be incentivised to buy more fresh fruit and vegetables by using the revenue gained. But she said any plans still had to be worked out.

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