Health experts have savaged the Government’s long-delayed national obesity plan, which was finally unveiled last week (18 August).
While the plan reasserts the government’s commitment to introduce a sugar tax on fizzy drinks, it settles for voluntary sugar reduction targets and excludes curbs on supermarket junk food promotions and advertising of sugary food and drink to children.
Prof Graham MacGregor, an NHS cardiovascular expert and chair of Action on Sugar, said the new Prime Minister, Theresa May, “came in saying ‘We are going to look after the poor and the socially deprived’ and has immediately shown she’s absolutely not interested. Farcically, she’s gone backwards even on Cameron. It’s a national scandal.”
“She came in saying ‘We are going to look after the poor and the socially deprived’ and has immediately shown she’s absolutely not interested”
But it’s not just health campaigners who are angered by the “watered down” proposals. The Conservative MP and former GP, Dr Sarah Wollaston, said the plan showed “the hand of big industry lobbyists”. She added that, at “the first litmus test”, Theresa May’s new-look Government had put the “interests of advertising marketers ahead of the interests of children”.
Even the chief executive of Sainsbury’s, Mike Coupe, called for a tougher regime, including compulsory targets for sugar and mandatory traffic light labelling.