Today, the Liberal Democrat party announced that, if elected, it would develop a strategy to tackle childhood obesity. They promise to include three key measures that we think are essential to creating a society that enables healthier lives for everyone – and puts the health of kids first.

In Tim Farron’s Liberal Democrat’s manifesto, the party promised to:

  1. Stop advertising junk food to kids, restricting the marketing of junk food to children by putting in place a 9pm watershed. This would block advertisers from flogging unhealthy products during the peak hours that kids watch TV.
  2. Make healthy food choices easier, by implementing a clear traffic-light labelling system that ensures we can all understand information on calories, fat, sugar and salt in restaurant and takeaway food items.
  3. Make sugar reduction mandatory. Following Public Health England’s recommendation in March 2017 that sugar reductions be made mandatory, the party would introduce mandatory sugar reduction targets for food and drink producers.

The Obesity Health Alliance (OHA) has said: “Children in the UK are growing up in an environment that makes healthy eating hard. Tackling this obesogenic environment must be a key part of any obesity strategy – and commitments to restricting TV advertising of junk food before the 9pm watershed, traffic light labelling and mandatory targets for sugar reduction – are significant steps in the right direction. We want to see all political parties put tackling obesity at the heart of their plans to improve the health of the nation.”

We agree with the OHA. It’s essential all parties make tackling childhood obesity a priority. The sugary drinks tax is a great start, but much more needs to be done.

That’s why we’ve outlined a strategy to combat childhood obesity, and encourage all parties to prioritize these commitments to protect the health of kids.

It’s really encouraging to see the Liberal Democrat’s commit to a healthier future for the UK. And take the first step toward a credible obesity strategy. We can’t wait to see what the Conservatives are planning in their manifesto.

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