Fabians seek ban on advertisements for sweets to prevent obesity epidemic
Thursday 26 December 2002
Worried that your children may have indulged in too many chocolate bars or guzzled too much lemonade in the glutinous holiday period? So is the Fabian Society, and it has a simple plan to stop young people stuffing their mouths.
Adverts for sweets and fizzy drinks should in many cases, it suggests, be banned. Ads for unhealthy products aimed at children should be prohibited from being displayed near schools or transmitted before the "watershed" on television.
In its report, "All's Well that Starts Well," the socialist think tank says that around 10 per cent of British children are obese.
Dr Howard Stoate, its author, warns that if the "time bomb" is not dealt with, it will shorten lifespans and increasechronic illnesses.
Recommendations include tax credits for retailers in "food poor" areas and planning permission to be favoured for building food stores accessible by foot. The Government should also provide households with nutritional advice and recommended menus to heighten awareness of healthy eating for children.
Dr Stoate, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Primary Care and Public Health, said: "Not only do we stand on the brink of an obesity epidemic that could wipe years off children's lives, but poverty still condemns thousands of children every year to a lifetime of poor health followed by early death.
"We, that is, the Government, parents and companies, have a responsibility to act now."
Adrian Harvey, of the Fabian Society, said: "At this time of traditional over-indulgence, it is important to remember the consequences of child obesity to their future health and life expectancy and to take this opportunity to draw to the Government's attention the need for a children's public health strategy."
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