United Kingdom aims to halve childhood obesity by 2030

Temptation Too many shops push sweets at youngsters

The measures would thus mainly target the "pester power" of these products from luring in the children to buy and eat these unhealthy food items.

"It is our job to empower parents to make healthier choices and make their lives easier", added the British Health Minister. "Today we are taking steps to ensure that by 2030, children from all backgrounds have the help they need for a healthier, more active start in life", Hunt said. It will consult on introducing new TV and online advertising restrictions to prevent children from being targeted by these unhealthy products, and to incentivise companies to reduce the sugar and calories in the products they sell.

But a Health Minister has criticised schools for not doing enough to keep children active.

He said: "The growing childhood obesity crisis is one of the starkest public health challenges facing our country".

Candies sold in the UK in the supermarket cashier's area or as part of special offers will be banned as part of a UK Government proposal to reduce childhood obesity, as the British Health Minister, Jeremy Hunt, reported that these measures will give "more power" to parents to make decisions that are healthier for their children. These include labeling of the calories on the menus, reducing advertising junk foods, stopping free deals on high calorie foods, reduce placement of high calorie foods near store entrances, checkouts and aisles.

Meanwhile every primary school will be encouraged to adopt an active mile initiative, such as the Daily Mile, which aims for every child to do at least 15 minutes' running per day.

Mr Hunt insisted that the measures were necessary because the cost of obesity was too great to ignore.

Making the announcement today, the health minister Jeremy Hunt is expected to say, 'Parents want what is best for their children, but keeping them healthy and active can be hard.

The National Obesity Forum has "strongly welcomed" the government's "bold and ambitious commitments".

'If implemented, they have real potential to ensure that children in the United Kingdom will face the healthy future they deserve'.

"This series of measures will undoubtedly help shift the balance towards a healthier environment".

'We fully support the Government's intentions on junk food promotions and marketing, but the consultations to come will be crucial.

'Along with our partners in the Obesity Health Alliance, we now urge swift action from across Government and industry to make these commitments a reality.

"There are still many measures that parents and health experts tell us are needed and we believe deserve attention in future, such as restricting kids' TV, film and cartoon characters on junk food packaging, junk food sponsorship in sports and more local powers to tackle this issue".

"With one in three children either overweight or obese before they leave primary school, it's clear that bold, decisive action needs to be taken". Risky overconsumption, combined with reduced activity, is having a catastrophic effect on our children's health, limiting their potential and putting them at risk of a shorter life. Professor Graham MacGregor, Chairman of Action on Sugar and Action on Salt, said: "Whilst we welcome Chapter 2 of the Government's childhood obesity plan, it clearly lacks firm commitment and only promises consultations by the end of the year".

"The measures announced in this plan will help all families to make healthy choices and make a real difference in the lives of children and young people". In implementing this strategy, we call on the Government to recognise the central role dietitians can and should be playing in addressing the issue of childhood obesity.

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