Critics: UK plan to cut child obesity lacks muscle

LONDON — Britain unveiled a plan Thursday to battle rising child obesity by taxing sodas, urging food manufacturers to cut down on sugar and getting schoolchildren to exercise more.

But health campaigners slammed the government for failing to restrict junk food advertising aimed at children.

The British population is one of the fattest in Western Europe. According to Public Health England, almost 62 percent of adults and 31 percent of children aged 2 to 15 are overweight or obese.

The government wants manufacturers to cut the amount of sugar in cereals, yoghurts, candy, breads and desserts by 20 percent by 2020. The target is voluntary, but the government said it will consider "alternative levers" if it isn't met.

Primary schools are being asked to help pupils get at least 60 minutes of exercise a day — 30 minutes in gym class or active play, and 30 minutes outside school.

The government has already announced a "sugar tax" on sodas to start in 2018, with the money going to school sports and healthy school breakfasts.

Parveen Kumar, chairwoman of the British Medical Association board of science, said it's "incredibly disappointing" that the plan doesn't include restrictions on marketing of unhealthy food and drinks aimed at children.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, a longtime campaigner against obesity, said the plan "contains a few nice ideas, but so much is missing."

He said "too much of it is voluntary, suggestive ... Where are the actions on the irresponsible advertising targeted at our children, and the restrictions on junk food promotions?"

You may also like these

Stellan Skarsgard proud of his sons for being...

Aug 15, 2016

Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard feels that his sons are talented actors, but it's more important to...

Court rejects Cosby's attempt to reseal testimony...

Aug 15, 2016

A federal appeals court has rejected Bill Cosby's effort to reseal his deposition testimony about...

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard settle divorce case

Aug 16, 2016

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard say they have settled their contentious divorce on Tuesday and the...

Gawker sold to Univision in aftermath of Hulk...

Aug 16, 2016

Spanish-language broadcaster Univision won an auction Tuesday for Gawker Media, which was put on...

'Mr. Robot' mobile game launches as phony...

Aug 17, 2016

A fake messaging app inspired by the USA Network hacker 'Mr. Robot' was released Tuesday for mobile...

There are so many celebrities out there, but who’s the real Diva? Discover more on your favorite celebrities and get closer to them only here in The Diva Today

Contact us: sales[at]thedivatoday.com