Small or small, boy? Pizzas targeted in war on childhood obesity

Lloyd Doyle
October 15, 2018

The figures, which come from the national child measurement programme overseen by PHE, indicate that severe obesity among Year Six children (ten and 11-year-olds) has grown by more than a third since 2006-2007.

Makers of pizzas, ready meals and savoury snacks could be forced to shrink them under United Kingdom government proposals to reduce childhood obesity, which figures have revealed has increased by more than a third across England since 2006.

Health officials want chefs to limit their pies to 695 calories and have stipulated that pizzas should not contain more than 928 calories - a limit which would be breached by all but four of the classic pizzas on the menu at Pizza Express.

PHE chief nutritionist, Dr Alison Tedstone, said the calorie content of nearly every food that Britons eat must be cut in order to drive down obesity levels, telling The Telegraph: "It could mean less meat on a pizza, it could mean less cheese, it could mean a smaller size".

Tedstone added that she's hoping the food industry acts "sooner rather than later".

"These are early days in the calorie reduction programme, but the food industry have a responsibility to act", Tedstone told the Independent.

The figures also clearly show that more than double the amount of children from the least deprived areas are classified as obese in the most deprived areas.

The British government plans to shrink the public's waistlines by forcing restaurants and grocery stores to limit the number of calories in a pizza and in other foods, the Independent reported.

However, he added: "Access [to], and funding of, high-quality weight management services are urgently needed now if we are to ensure no child slips through the net and all children, no matter where they live, are given the same opportunity to have good health".

Director of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Christopher Snowdon, on Thursday likened the "childhood obesity epidemic", against which the government is fighting with a war on consumer choice, to the Emperor's New Clothes.

Public Health Minister Steve Brine said the government was "willing to do whatever it takes to keep children healthy and well in this country". However, medical and public health bodies and charities have said government plans did not go far enough and relied too much on food manufacturers voluntarily reducing sugar levels.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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