Leading doctors reveal the eight ways Governments can slash consumption of ...

Leading doctors have revealed eight of the most successful ways governments can try to slash the consumption of sugary drinks.

Interventions include labels that rate the healthiness of the beverage and cutting back on what's available at schools.

The recommendations were based on what has already been proven to reduce sugar drink consumption in scientific trials.

The UK Government has already targeted the fizzy drinks market with a sugar tax levy which pushed prices up and saw some drinks reformulated. 

But it's intent on doing more to try and slim down British children, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock last month calling on the Chief Medical Officer to help him come up with new fat-busting ideas. 

Leading doctors have revealed the eight most successful ways Governments can slash the consumption of sugary drinks - a driving force of the obesity epidemic

Leading doctors have revealed the eight most successful ways Governments can slash the consumption of sugary drinks - a driving force of the obesity epidemic

Sugary drinks are considered a driving force behind the obesity epidemic and also contribute to tooth decay, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Cochrane, an international organisation of health experts, has produced its latest review looking at ways which science has found to be effective in cutting consumption. 

A total of 58 international studies involving more than one million participants were looked at by researchers from the UK and Germany.

A variety of approaches have been trialled in 19 countries but some appeared to be more effective than others.

These include easy-to-understand labels, either with traffic lights or star ratings, showing how healthy a drink is.

Traffic light labelling is currently optional on food and drinks in the UK but there have been calls to make it mandatory after Britain's departure from the EU. 

Limiting availability of products in schools; price increases in restaurants, shops and leisure centres; and promoting healthier options in supermarkets were strongly supported.

WHAT ARE THE EIGHT STRATEGIES? 
Labels that are easy to understand, such as 'traffic-light' labels, and labels that rate the healthiness of beverages with stars or numbers. Limits to the availability of sugary drinks in schools. Price increases on sugary drinks in restaurants, shops and leisure centres. Healthier drinks as default on chain restaurants' children's menus instead of sugary drinks as the default. Promotion and better placement of healthier beverages in supermarkets. Government food benefits (e.g. food stamps) which cannot be used to purchase sugary drinks. Community campaigns focused on supporting healthy beverage choices. Measures that improve the availability of low-calorie beverages at home, e.g. through home deliveries of bottled water and diet beverages.

Professor Hans Hauner, one of the authors of the review, from Technical University Munich in Germany, said: 'Rates of obesity and diabetes are rising globally, and this trend will not be reversed without broad and effective action. 

'Governments and industry in particular must do their part to make the healthy choice the easy choice for consumers. 

'This review highlights key measures that can help to accomplish this.'   

Dr James Doidge, senior

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