Published: Fri, October 11, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Ban food on public transport to tackle child obesity, says report

Ban food on public transport to tackle child obesity, says report

Time to Solve Childhood Obesity, a new independent report by Professor Dame Sally Davies, stated that progress on voluntary reformulation of food and drink, as overseen by Public Health England, had been "disappointing".

"Today's children are drowning in a flood of unhealthy food and drink options, compounded by insufficient opportunities for being active", Davies said in her report titled Time to solve childhood obesity.

She is calling on politicians to ensure that healthy food is more affordable, unhealthy food is less widely marketed and children have the chance to live and play in a healthy and safe environment.

And she said all publicly-funded sporting venues and major sporting events must only advertise and sell low-calorie, low-fat, low-salt and low-sugar food and drink.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he is opposed to "sin taxes" that disproportionately affect poorer people, promising a review to test whether they actually changed behaviour.

- Stronger regulation of marketing of follow-on formula milk and better promotion of breastfeeding, which is known to help reduce the risk of obesity.

"These figures show that, as a country, we are clearly not on track to meet the Government's sensible goal of halving childhood obesity".

Davies stresses that 1.2 million children in the United Kingdom are now clinically obese, with young people suffering Type 2 diabetes, asthma and musculoskeletal pain, as well as mental health problems such as depression.

It's safe to say the suggestion hasn't gone down well on social media, with many people mocking the idea that the state could remove their right to eat and drink on public transport.

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Dame Sally Davies said: "The Government ambition is to halve childhood obesity by 2030 - in England, we are nowhere near achieving this".

- Curb auto speed limits near schools and homes to help improve air quality and encourage children to walk or cycle.

If the government failed to take such actions, they would be sending out a message that they did not put children first, she said.

NHS chief executive Simon Stevens said of the latest data: "Obesity is a unsafe public health threat for our children, leading to a string of serious illnesses".

In response to the report, the Food & Drink Federation said the industry wanted the government to support its work in reducing salt, sugars and calories.

Thus casting them as the "shining star in children's minds". Children are explicitly targeted with sophisticated techniques.

Dame Sally said weight-loss programmes and treatment were all being undermined by environments that promote unhealthy food. "Her thirst for taxing things is only exceeded by her thirst for banning things", he said.

She acknowledged it modified into "crucial that kids are vaccinated", adding: "I take note looking out after two kids as they died from measles". 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. By making snacking on the public transport issue, we are reinforcing the (incorrect) presumption that weight, and health, is something we can control - it's simply a matter of personal responsibility.

But Mr Hancock vowed to "act on the evidence", adding: 'Dame Sally has done more than anyone to promote the health of the nation over a decade as CMO'.

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