Prime Minister Theresa May accused of U-turn on child obesity plans


Prime Minister Theresa May is facing criticism for “diluting” proposals designed to combat childhood obesity.
Plans were drawn up under David Cameron to reduce levels of obesity in youngsters, in what is widely considered to be one of the biggest health crises currently facing Britain.
Mr Cameron mooted regulating the advertising of junk food and making sure unhealthy products were not placed so as to appear more attractive in supermarkets.
However, those measures are now reported to have been removed from a draft of the Government’s childhood obesity strategy.
According to an investigation by the Channel 4 Dispatches programme, the initial draft of the strategy included a specific promise to halve levels of childhood obesity within a decade, to 800,000 youngsters.
However, when the full document was revealed, that line had been altered so it did not include specific figures, but simply a pledge to “significantly reduce” numbers of children who are dangerously overweight.
Celebrity chief Jamie Oliver, who is well known for his stance on healthy food for children, has criticised the changes.
He said: “Obesity is killing huge amounts of people, well before their time. This is a war. If you are worried about the thing that hurts British people the most, it ain’t ISIS, right?”
He said that the so-called action plan was not worth the paper it was written on, explaining it should be classed as a breach of the Trade Descriptions Act because while it was meant to be an action plan, there was “hardly any action in there”.
He also criticised the timing of the release of the obesity plan, which was revealed at the same time as A-level results and while the Government was on its summer holiday.
Mr Oliver said: “It absolutely screams out ‘we don’t care’. I’d say it’s never too late to say I’m sorry. And, just start again.”
The as yet unseen draft is believed to date back to June and is 37 pages long, while the strategy which was made public contains just 13 pages.
However, the Department of Health claimed the strategy was groundbreaking and ambitious.
A spokesman added: “The government has intentionally taken a careful and measured approach which will reduce obesity. We are taking bold action through the soft drinks industry levy to cut the amount of sugar consumed by young people.”


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