Plain packaging should be used for junk food and sugary drinks in a bid to discourage people from consuming unhealthy snacks, a leading expert has said.

As obesity figures and type 2 diabetes rates continue to rise, much is being done to find ways to stop people from eating poorly. In 2018 a sugar tax on fizzy drinks was introduced and supersized chocolate bars and “grab bags” of sweets have since been banned from hospitals.

Tom Kibasi, from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), is calling for sweets and drinks to be stigmatised in the way smoking has been. The smoking ban was introduced in the UK in 2007, and since then smoking rates have fallen by a third in just over 10 years.

Speaking to BBC, the director of the organisation said: “Plain packaging would help us all to make better choices and reduce the hassle of pester power for busy parents.”

The IPPR’s report, ‘Ending the Blame Game: The case for a new approach to public health and prevention’, has also called for junk food TV advertising to be banned before the watershed.

The document also suggested cookery classes for the community should be paid for by large supermarkets and the smoking age should be increased to the age of 21.

The government has said it is currently waiting to hear from England’s chief medical officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, before reviewing the idea of introducing plain packaging for sugary products.

Visit Diabetes Digital Media’s award-winning Low Carb Program for more information on how to cut down on junk food and enjoy real-food eating. The program contains a community of users who share recipe ideas, meal plans and tips to avoid sugar cravings.

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