Tourist attraction operators hit back over obesity slur

31 August 2006
Tourist attraction operators hit back over obesity slur

Tourist attraction operators have responded angrily to claims from the Soil Association that their catering provision is fuelling childhood obesity.

A report released last week by the food campaigners rated 14 UK tourist attractions on a scale of one to 25 in terms of the healthiness of food on offer. Only four scored more than 10, with eight scoring less than five points.

Camelot Theme Park in Chorley, Lancashire, and New Metroland in Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, scored just one point each, with no fruit or vegetables available.

But Roy Page, chief executive of Prime Resorts, the owner of Camelot, hit back at the criticism. "It must be remembered that a trip to a theme park is, for most children, a once-a-year treat. Therefore, food consumed on such days has a minimal contribution to the problem of childhood obesity."

Food service consultant Chris Stern said: "The sad fact of the matter is people want burgers and chips. It's very frustrating, but these companies can't be expected to put on fresh fruit just to be PC."

The criticism comes as new figures from the Department of Health revealed the size of the UK's obesity problem.

More than 12 million adults and one million children will be obese by 2010 if no action is taken, the report shows. Forecasting Obesity to 2010 also warns that one in five girls aged two to 10 will be obese.

The figures mean the Government would fail to meet its target to halt the rise in childhood obesity.

By Chris Druce

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