Responding to the launch of the government consultation into supermarket promotions of unhealthy food and drinks1, Professor Dame Parveen Kumar, BMA board of science chair, said:
“With one in three children overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school, urgent action is required to stem this spiralling epidemic.
“Poor diet and being overweight or obese can lead to a range of physical health issues, such as increased likelihood of cancer, diabetes and heart conditions, and can also result in a number of psychological problems.
“While many parents are doing their best to make informed, healthier choices for both themselves and their children, this is undermined by promotions in stores that bombard consumers, both with multi-buy offers and checkout areas crammed with foods high in fat, sugar and salt.
“Promotions may seem like bargains, but the price on our children’s health is extremely high.
“We therefore welcome the Government’s consultation on this important issue, and will be responding to it in detail in due course.
“The Secretary of State for Health has been clear that he wants to prioritise prevention - but only with the kind of firm regulatory change outlined in these proposals can we make a real difference to the health of our children and young people.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.
1. For further details see gov.uk.