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Ban and tax our way out of obesity – top doctor



  Children eating packed lunches


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According to England's outgoing head physician, public transport should be banned and additional taxes on unhealthy food should be levied to counteract childhood obesity.

In her final report as CMO, Lady Sally Davies also called for stricter restrictions on advertising and takeaways.

She said the families needed more help to make healthier decisions.

And she urged ministers to be bold in their struggle

Dame Sally said, "The inevitable fact is that over time our environment has become very unhealthy without us noticing.

"Our children are now suffering from painful, potentially life-limiting diseases.

"Our politicians must be courageous and help everyone make healthier life choices."

The obesity crisis

The proportion of obese and overweight children has doubled in the last 30 years.

Currently one-third is obese or overweight at the age of 1

1.

The problem is most acute with girls: the UK has one of the highest rates in the world.

There are indications that the increase is gradually easing. However, rates continue to increase among the most disadvantaged groups.

Children living in the poorest tenth of the territories are over twice as likely to be obese as those in the richest areas.

Obesity increases the risk of a number of cancers and heart disease in diabetes.

Until recently, type 2 diabetes was considered an adult problem, but now there are more than 100 new cases each year.

What to do?

Dame Sally has proposed a wide range of measures. Some are concerned with the extension of existing directives, while others are completely new.

These include:

  • Discontinuation of all marketing, promotion and sponsorship of unhealthy food and drink
  • Prohibition of food and drink in urban transport except water; Breastfeeding and medical conditions
  • Free water replenishment at all outlets, transport stations and public buildings
  • Regular car-free weekends across the country to encourage physical activity
  • Modification of planning rules to achieve harder-to-open fast food Takeaways
  • Extending the sugar tax on milk-based drinks
  • Adding VAT on unhealthy foods such as cakes
  • Limiting the amount of calories in foods that are served outside of-the home against increasing portion sizes
  • If it does not If they succeed in reducing sugar, fat and salt fast enough in their products, they should consider simple packaging for junk food, as with tobacco
  • Encouraging parenting and schools to introduce a water and milk policy

Taxation Can Help

Lady Sally said taxation was an important lever for ministers.

She highlighted the success of the sugar tax – a levy already levied on sugary drinks since last year.

Last month's figures showed that sugar consumption had dropped more than a fifth as a combination of low-sugar drinks and the industry had changed the sugar content of products.

The decline Despite an increase in sales, 30,000 tonnes of sugar per year were eliminated from the nationwide diet.

But Lady Sally wants the government to extend the tax on milk drinks.

She also wants to see that some irregularities in the VAT system are rectified.

Food is generally not taxed, but some are unhealthy and increase the price by 20%.

This means that a Gingerbread man wearing chocolate-covered trousers is subject to VAT, but not if he only has chocolate eyes.

Cakes, flapjacks and corn chips are rated zero, while chocolate biscuits, granola bars and crisps are not.

How advertising distorts the market.

Unhealthy foods are big business for advertisers.

About 300 million pounds a year are spent on the promotion of soft drinks, confectionery, and sweet and savory snacks – that's almost half of the total food and beverage advertising spend.

By comparison, only 16 million pounds are accounted for by fruits and vegetables. [19659046] There are already restrictions on junk food advertising on TV and on the Internet.

But Lady Sally wants to go further and demand a complete ban on unhealthy food and beverage advertising.

What are the chances that these steps will be introduced

The government published its last obesity strategy in 2018. The goal is to halve the rate by 2030.

None of the guidance recommended by Dame Sally is part of the current policy.

Health Minister Matt Hancock praised The work of the outgoing GMO said she has done "more than anyone else to promote the nation's health over the past decade".

He said the ministers would study the recommendations "exactly."

But there are doubts about how reforming A government led by Boris Johnson will be in this area.

He has already expressed skepticism about so-called sin taxes, such as sugar levy, although a strategy paper published shortly before he took office suggested extending the sugar levy to milk-based beverages.

Sally Warren The King's Think Tank said: "The government should take full advantage of all its leverage to combat obesity.

"Some politicians may make fun of the idea of ​​the & # 39; nanny state," but research suggests that this type of intervention is more strongly supported by the public than is often assumed. "

Professor Parveen Kumar of the British Medical Association said the government would "disappoint" children if they did not act.


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