Is the government’s obesity plan enough to lower sugar consumption?

Is the government’s obesity plan enough to lower sugar consumption?

Earlier this month, the government announced its new obesity plan. With obesity a threat to the health of children and the economy, the plan aims to tackle contributory factors to the problem. The sugar tax, announced last year, was included in the government’s proposal, along with several other measures. Whether the new initiative goes far enough, however, is another question…

The plan

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The new government measures, announced earlier this month, outline several ways it plans on cracking down on obesity in children.

The new measures include:

  • Voluntary scheme for the food and drink industry to cut the sugar content in their products.
  • Enhanced physical activity programme in schools – with schools being asked to help pupils get 60 minutes of exercise a day.
  • Sugar tax on soft drinks, such as Coca-Cola (to come into force from 2018).

 

The good

One of the best things to come out of this new strategy was the initiative already put in place by David Cameron last year – a sugar tax on soft drinks. This was a step welcomed by many – and certainly a step in the right direction. However, as a standalone initiative, a sugar tax on drinks would do little to significantly lower sugar consumption and cut obesity rates.

 

The bad

While the other measures appear positive, there’s no real plan in place – especially when if comes to voluntary action to reduce sugar content in food and drink products. While ministers hope the food industry will cut 20% of sugar from popular children’s products, there’s no reason for the food and drink industry to change.

Healthcare experts have suggested this initiative should have been made mandatory rather than merely encouraged. What’s more, there are concerns that junk food promotions haven’t been targeted by the new plan either. With advert breaks and supermarkets overrun with promotions for fizzy pop and confectionary, children will very much still be exposed to junk food and sugary products.

About the new strategy, The Obesity Health Alliance, a coalition of 33 charities, medical royal colleges and campaign groups, added:

“The Government’s plan is underwhelming and a missed opportunity to tackle the obesity crisis and its devastating burden on the health of both society and the NHS.”

 

Dental care advice from the experts

dental xray

At AP Smilecare, we help you to look after your teeth. During your appointment time, we’ll assess the health of your mouth and answer any questions you have about oral health. We’ll also share our advice on how to maintain a healthy smile – offering hints and tips along the way.

If poor eating habits have affected your teeth, why not browse our General Dentistry Treatments? We may just have the perfect solution for you! Suitable for children, adults and families, our dental care services ensure your teeth get the attention they need.

 

What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you think the government’s strategy will be sufficient to lower sugar consumption? Join the debate over on twitter @APSmilecare or leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Posted on: 29th Aug, 2016