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Labour health spokesman calls for legal limits on sugar

The shadow health minister has been accused of being “the Grinch who wants to ban mince pies at Christmas” by a fellow MP.

The health spokesman for Labour, Andy Burnham, has suggested setting maximum levels for fat, salt, and sugar in children’s food, in a bid to reduce the levels of childhood obesity, which have reached alarming levels.

Burnham also recommended that obese patients be referred to exercise classes to encourage them to lose weight. David Morris, a Conservative MP, accused the Labour party of trying to ban things and encouraging a nanny state.

Morris stated that the Tory party was taking a common-sense approach to help people with weight loss. However, during an interview with Sky News, Burnham said that for the NHS to become sustainable, prevention was needed to stop health problems occurring. He said:

“We’ve seen more and more sugar built into our food over time. I’m looking there at a mandatory maximum limit on fat, salt and sugar in children’s food. The status quo simply isn’t working. We need to consider more radical action.”

The National Obesity Forum’s Tam Fry agreed with the proposal, saying that the high levels of sugar in drinks was causing damage to children’s teeth, in addition to contributing to the high levels of child obesity. Fry also added that food manufacturers could be given a number of years to comply with the reduction of fat, salt and sugar.

Schools in the UK are already making changes towards helping children to eat a more nutritious diet, often with the introduction of healthy tuckshop foods in Merseyside and other regions.

Posted by Susan
December 29, 2014

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