Labour deputy leader vows to ban children’s cereal characters as part of a clampdown on refined sugar
The deputy leader of the Labour Party has vowed to ban popular children’s cereal characters if the party gets in as part of a clampdown on refined sugar addiction.
Speaking at the Advertising Association conference, Tom Watson described refined sugar as “every bit as deadly as tobacco” and accused advertising agencies and manufacturers of targeting children and encouraging them to eat unhealthy foods. Under new guidelines the party would introduce if they were to win an election, characters like Coco the Monkey and Tony the Tiger, which appear on some of Kellogg’s most high-profile cereals, would be banned.
The move would be part of a wide-scale campaign to reduce sugar intake and improve children’s health. Statistics show that a third of children are overweight or obese when they leave primary school, and more than 22% of 5-year-olds have at least one missing, filled or decayed tooth.
Mr Watson said that we are a nation that is addicted to refined sugar, and blamed the advertising industry.
Research suggests that cereals account for the most significant daily intake of ‘free sugars’ in children under the age of 10, with products like Frosties packed with sugar. A 100g serving of Frosties contains 37g of sugar, while Golden Nuggets and Sugar Puffs Honey contain 22g of sugar per 100g. The characters used are not the only problem highlighted by MPs like Mr Watson. There are also concerns over recommended serving sizes and images of bowls overflowing on the packaging. Cardiff University researchers found that children eating a serving the size of those advertised on the front of boxes would exceed their daily sugar intake by 12.5% in one sitting.