UK & World News

  • 26 June 2014, 7:28

Children 'Should Drink Water Not Fruit Juice'

Children should be only allowed to drink water at the breakfast table and not fruit juice, an expert has said.

Professor Tom Sanders, from King's College London, has called for drinks containing sugar to be removed from youngsters' diets.

He told journalists at a briefing: "Kids should be getting their fluid from drinking water.

"We need to reintroduce the habit of people putting a jug of water on the table and drinking water with their food instead of some sort of fruity beverage."

He was supported by fellow nutritionist Professor Susan Jebb, from Oxford University, who said: "I'd prefer to get sugar out of drinks altogether; a shift to low or no calorie drinks, and preferably water."

The calls come after figures showed Brits are the second fattest in Europe after the Maltese, with 22.1% of men and 23.9% of women now obese.

Doctors have previously said they see obesity as the biggest challenge facing the nation's health and have called for sugary drinks to be taxed.

Pressure group Action on Sugar also fears that "hidden sugar" in food and drinks is at risk of contributing to the level of type 2 diabetes, with one in three adults now said to have the borderline-form of the disease.

New standards for school meals have already started to restrict the amount of fruit juice that children can consume with guidelines setting the limit at 150ml a meal.

Prof Sanders attacked schools for not providing enough break time for children to eat proper meals and also targeted celebrity chefs, saying they provided bad examples.

He said: "You watch the master chefs and they do everything that makes a nutritionist's hair stand on end. Mary Berry, bless her."

But he added that at least the Great British Bake Off star had "got it right" by only eating small amounts of her creations.

He said he did not think taxation and food labels with a "skull and crossbones" on them were the answer.

"However ghastly the packaging is, we get to the point where it doesn't have much effect," he added. "It's a change of behaviour that we really need."

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