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MPs call for ban on cartoon characters appearing on unhealthy food

Cartoon characters should not be used to promote unhealthy food such as sugary breakfast cereals, a group of MPs have said.
Removing fictional characters such as Tony the Tiger (Frosties) and the Milky Bar Kid is one of the suggestions the House of Commons Health Select Committee has recommended to help combat rising rates of childhood obesity.
The committee’s recommendation to ban “brand-generated characters or licensed TV and film characters” follows a report which revealed more than 20,000 children in the UK are severely obese when they leave primary school.

While the government ups its efforts to tackle obesity rates, more and more people are reducing their risk of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by cutting out sugar, restricting highly processed food intake and eating real food. Research shows that sugar, in particular, is significantly linked with diabetes and heart disease, among other complications.
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The Health Select Committee’s other recommendations include restrictions on junk food price promotions, for supermarkets to be forced to remove sugary, unhealthy snacks from checkout areas, and for social media firms like Facebook to reduce children’s exposure to junk food advertising.
Chief among the recommendations, which has been backed by campaigners such as TV chef Jamie Oliver and Action on Sugar, is for a ban on junk food adverts before the 9pm TV watershed.
Dr Sarah Wollasto, Conservative MP and chairwoman of the committee, said: “Children are becoming obese at an earlier age and staying obese for longer. The consequences for these children are appalling and this can no longer be ignored.”
The Department of Health launched its sugar tax earlier this year, and has reiterated its commitment to delivering on a childhood obesity strategy which they say is “the most ambitious in the world”.
A spokesman added: “We are in the process of working up an updated plan, and will be in a position to say more shortly.”

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