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article imageProfessors say we should ban all soft drinks

By Ryan Hite     Jun 26, 2014 in Health
London - Parents should only serve water with meals and ban soft drinks and juices from the table in order to reduce children’s intake of sugar, the British Government’s chief obesity adviser said.
The recommendation was made ahead of advice being published about how much sugar people should consume and measures to reduce public levels of consumption.
Professor Susan Jebb, chairman of the British Government’s panel to deal with the food and drink industry, also said that doctors needed to be more open about telling overweight people to diet. She also said that families should introduce strict rules about drinks, limiting juice to one small glass a day with breakfast.
"Drink water, that’s the very simple advice to parents," she said. "Encourage your children to stick with water. Low-fat milk is fine but water should be the mainstay."
Jebb said that sugary drinks had a particularly significant impact on obesity because children and adults tended to consume them in addition to their calorie intake from food, not in place of the food.
"The biggest source of sugar across all age groups is sugar-sweetened beverages and those are an obvious target for action," she added.
The professor of health at Oxford University made these comments amid rising concern that sugar has become one of the greatest threats to public health, fueling an obesity bomb and contributing to higher levels of diabetes.
Her words were backed by Professor Tom Sanders, the head of the Nutritional Sciences Division at King’s College London, who said that families needed to return to the days of having a jug of water on the table at all meals.
He stated: "The problem is a lot of people don’t drink water any more. At the dinner table keep it simple; just have water on the table, not pop, not juice..."
He said parents should stop buying soft drinks and instead see them as an occasional treat.
In an interview, Prof Jebb said that many people needed to do more to raise the issue with overweight people.
"I think maybe we are a bit too reticent about telling them that maybe they should go on a diet," she stated. "We have no qualms in telling people who are smokers that they ought to stop smoking, but we are reticent about telling people to go on a diet."
"Part of the reticence comes out of the sense that many diets fail or, more accurately, that many people who try to diet fail. But many people who try to give up smoking fail. It doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have another go," Prof Jebb said.
She suggested that those who are overweight should set themselves a goal of once every five years losing at least 5 percent of their body weight while accepting that some of the weight lost was likely to creep back on.
Prof Sanders also said that many people could learn from the French by restoring more structured meal times instead of snacks on the go.
"We need to come to terms with more structured eating and rethink the way we eat," he said.
"The French talk about food far more and spend far more time eating but actually have far less obesity so you can actually enjoy your food .. but it's about eating less."
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