JFHC editor Penny Hosie says the Queen's speech has omitted legislation which will seriously affect our health (9/5/12):
While much focus today will quite rightly be centred on the government's announcement of family friendly policies through its Children and Families bill, I believe there is a fatal omission from this new piece of legislation.
In their haste to prove to the electorate they are not the "nasty" party, the ConDem coalition has neglected to legislate against the food industry's insidious marketing moves to foist ever more "enticing" fast foods upon our nation's palate.
I was personally appalled to read the launch of a new "healthy" fizzy fruit drink. I'd be interested to discover what exactly this global fast food company deems "healthy" about the 12 spoons of sugar this drink is alleged to contain in just one average-sized glass - but let's just say we're not loving it!
One may argue that consumers can vote with their feet - they are not "forced" to buy unhealthy foods and drinks. However, most parents can vouch for the strength of "pester power" and the fact these foods are AVAILABLE in the first place means it is increasingly tricky to ignore them.
For the sake of our children's long term health this government needs to tackle the food industry head on and get to grips with tighter regulation. The marketing of foods containing high levels of sugar and fat foods is simply not acceptable. I base my argument on rising levels of childhood obesity, with all its related illnesses (a significant rise in childhood diabetes and heart disease being just two). The cost to our nation's health will be immense if we continue along this all too well trodden path.
If the government can seriously consider placing cigarettes in plain packets to deter children from desiring them, then it can also wake up to the fact that fast foods are a danger to public health, too.
Still not convinced? Here's a doctors impassioned plea on this same subject, with some startling facts on obesity and the fast food industry: http://bit.ly/zMVLNx