The United Kingdom government is taking great lengths to make sure that its children are not prone to childhood obesity.
Tackling Childhood Obesity
The Right Honorable Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, is preparing to introduce legislation that might help the country tackle childhood obesity. The UK government would seek to remove two-for-one deals on junk food in the countries' supermarkets. Another significant change that is being considered includes banning "guilt lanes," which help children convince their parents to buy candy and cookies.
The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care is also thinking about making it illegal to sell energy drinks to 16-year-olds. Also, unlimited soda refills could also be removed from restaurants across the country. Several British media outlets believe that the banning and restriction process could be implemented around the end of the year.
Blame It On The HFSS
The potential junk food prohibition could be placed on food and drink products that are high in fat, sugar, and salt. One goal of the Health and Social Care's campaign against HFSS products is removing them from areas of the store that have "buy one get one free" offers. The governmental organization noted that some stores have been slowly eliminating products from checkouts but believe that HFSS food and drinks should not bombard parents.
Government leaders are also considering banning cartoon characters to promote HFSS products. The ban could reduce childhood obesity rates. It would also mean that several cartoon characters such as Frosted Flakes' Tony the Tiger and movie characters could be removed from advertisement campaigns.
Childhood Obesity Challenges
The UK is not the only country struggling with childhood obesity. The World Health Organization released a study that showcased that the Mediterranean region's children are some of Europe's most obese children. More than 40 percent of 9-year-old children in Cyprus, Spain, Italy, and Greece were found to be either overweight or obese. WHO noted that the Mediterranean region children consume more sweets than fruits and vegetables.
Health journal Pediatrics noted that several major sports leagues are pushing junk food to their youngest fans. The study's principal author, New York University researcher Marie Bragg, pointed out that three out of four food advertisements during sports programs in the United States promoted junk food. Researchers noted that when they examined the nutritional elements of the advertised food, they found that 76 percent of the products were unhealthy.
In February, the American Academy of Pediatrics News & Journals Getaway published that almost 50 percent of teenagers aged 16 to 19 are struggling with obesity. It was noted that children aged 8 to 18 are more interested in watching TV and playing computer games than participating in physical activities. The American Psychological Association pointed out because they were in front of numerous screens, they were exposed to "exploitive" content including the promotion of unhealthy habits.
Tech Times reached out to the United Kingdom Department of Health and Social Care for a comment on this story.