New measures to halve the number of obese children by 2030 have been announced

New measures to halve the number of obese children by 2030 have been announced by Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Building on the first chapter of the childhood obesity plan, the new measures include proposals to counter ‘pester power’ by preventing stores from displaying unhealthy food at checkouts or including it in buy-one-get-one-free deals.

The Department of Health and Social Care will consult on introducing clear, consistent calorie labelling on menus in restaurants, cafés and takeaways, so parents can make an informed choice about what their families are eating. The department will also consult on banning the sale of harmful, caffeine-laden energy drinks to children – a quarter of 6- to 9-year-olds consume these energy drinks, which can have as much caffeine as a cup of coffee or more.

The government is calling on industry to recognise the harm that adverts for foods high in fat, sugar and salt can cause. 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. This could include extending the current advertising watershed and considering limiting the number of unhealthy food adverts shown during children’s programmes up to 9pm.

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