BDA slams 'watered down' obesity strategy

BDA slams 'watered down' obesity strategy

18 Aug 2016

The British Dental Association (BDA) has criticised the Government’s long-awaited obesity strategy, which has shied away from needed action on junk food advertising and two-for-one offers.

The dentists' body slammed Ministers’ 'relaxed attitude' to health inequalities and combating sugar. It has pointed to official data, showing that children in Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt's constituency in Waverley have the lowest levels of obesity and tooth decay in England, and called for real action to tackle persistent health inequalities.

Five-year-olds in Blackburn and Darwen are nearly seven times more likely to experience decay, and year six pupils in Southwark are almost three times more likely to experience obesity than children in the Health Secretary's South West Surrey seat.
Tooth decay remains the number one cause of hospital admissions among children. Dentists have led calls for joined-up action on sugar, and advocated a package of measures including around taxation, effective public education and changes to advertising and marketing.

Mick Armstrong, Chair of the BDA said: "It will take more than half-measures to deal with the sugar crisis. A sugar levy is one thing, but watering down action on junk food advertising and two-for-one deals sends entirely the wrong signal to business, parents and health professionals.

"The Health Secretary cannot afford to take a relaxed attitude to sugar. Children in his constituency might enjoy the lowest rates of obesity and tooth decay in England, but we think all children deserve the best start in life.

"We require a real strategy from Government, one that is willing to address the huge, costly and preventable health inequalities Britain now faces. This isn't rocket science, but we need Ministers to take a lead."