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Medical professionals call for tighter controls on junk food and fizzy drinks

18 February 2013 by
Medical professionals call for tighter controls on junk food and fizzy drinks

Medical professionals have launched a renewed attack on fizzy drinks and junk food, calling for unhealthy foods to be treated more like cigarettes.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, which represents nearly every doctor in the UK, said fizzy drinks should be heavily taxed, and junk food adverts banned until after the watershed.

Around one quarter of UK adults are classed as obese and the figure is expected to double by 2050, posing potential problems for the health of the nation.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges made a number of recommendations to curb the consumption of unhealthy foods, including:

  • A ban on advertising foods high in saturated fat, sugar and salt before 9pm
  • Further taxes on sugary drinks to increase prices by at least 20%
  • A reduction in fast food outlets near schools and leisure centres
  • A £100m budget for interventions such as weight-loss surgery
  • No junk food or vending machines in hospitals, where all food must meet the same nutritional standards as in schools
  • Food labels to include calorie information for children

Prof Terence Stephenson, the chair of the Academy, said a tax was needed to encourage people to drink more healthy drinks.

"Doctors are often accused of playing the nanny state, we didn't hear from a single person who said they liked being overweight, everybody we met wanted help from the state and society."

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