The Government pitched their Childhood Obesity Plan as the start of the conversation. The stronger elements of the plan are progressing well, but these alone are not enough. We now desperately need to return to that conversation to give us the best chance of protecting our children's future health not just over the next 52 weeks, but for every week beyond that.
These days all we seem to hear is how we should be slashing the amount of sugar in our diets, and while it's easy to get caught up in the hype of the latest 'sugar free' diet - as a dietitian, it worries me that most people are still very confused about sugar
It's time to pull on our big boy/girl pants and admit the truth - sugar addiction is not the reason we're overweight or unhealthy, WE ARE THE REASON. There, I've said it and while I know it's not what you want to read, it's time we stopped pussyfooting around with excuses to make ourselves feel better.
Last week, the UK government confirmed legislation for a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks, which is set to begin from April
As the UK moves closer to implementing its soft drinks industry levy (or 'sugar tax' as it is more commonly known), more and more companies are announcing their plans to reformulate their products, showing that it's entirely possible to reduce sugar and provide healthier options.
Any public health measure must always consider the financial impact of action. But it is simply misleading to talk about possible financial impact of a measure without also talking about the economic burden we are already facing. The economic argument for action is huge - £27billion a year. That's why we can't afford not to introduce the soft drinks industry levy.
Through all the political turmoil of the past few weeks and discussions about what Brexit means for Britain, one thing has remained consistently true - we need to take strong action on childhood obesity. The UK's very high levels of childhood obesity, dental decay and diet-related ill-health did not magically decrease after the Brexit vote.
The levy (dubbed a 'sugar tax') will be introduced in April 2018, and will hope to generate close to £1.5 billion in the period 2018-21. The government intends to invest the tax revenue for increased physical education, extracurricular activities and breakfast clubs at schools.
Here's a funny thing about drinking: You can drink bottle after bottle of beer, or glass after glass of wine, without a second thought about their sugar or calorie contents. And then, perhaps when having a night off the sauce, you can get very preoccupied with the sugar content of the soft drinks you're having instead.
As a small producer, and working with many other start-ups and other small producers, we have perhaps a unique position from which to view the proposed sugar tax, due to take effect from 2018.