New study finds British babies have one of the worst diets in the world
A new study has found that British babies are being raised on the world’s worst diets. According to the First Steps Nutrition Trust, the majority of calories consumed come from processed foods, which have been linked to a host of health problems.
An analysis of baby food in eight countries found that children under 5 in the UK consume the most mass-produced foods, with fast food making up almost two-thirds of their average energy intake.
Research has linked popular ultra-processed foods for babies and toddlers, such as biscuits, puff and stick chips, puree bags and ready meals, to weight gain and growth problems.
They are marketed as healthy and easy-to-make options and come in colorful packaging, but are manufactured through industrial processing. Some contain additives such as flavors, emulsifiers, colors and preservatives.
They are generally lower in nutrients and higher in calories, sugar, and salt than less processed or homemade options.
Vicki Sibson, director of the First Steps Nutrition Trust, said: “Ultra-processed foods dominate the diet of infants and young children in the UK and there are several good reasons to be concerned about this.”
The figures show that by 2040 more than 21 million British adults will be obese – almost four in ten of the population. Obese young people are about five times more likely to remain obese in adulthood, which poses a serious threat to their health throughout their lives, including an increased risk of developing cancer later in life.
In July 2020, as part of their anti-obesity strategy, ministers announced plans to set a 9:00 pm tipping point in TV ads for foods high in fat, salt and sugar.
The move has now been delayed until October 2025, after the general election, despite the chronic epidemic in the UK.
Part of the reason, although not officially stated, is the extraordinary cost of living in Britain, as industrially produced and processed foods are almost always cheaper and more convenient.
But health campaigners argue that delays in passing laws will leave the NHS paralyzed by the aftermath. Three of the five cancers with the largest increase in mortality over the past 20 years – liver, uterus and kidney – are associated with obesity.
About 41 percent of children aged 10 and 11 are overweight or obese as the temptation to unhealthy food proves overwhelming. Fat children are five times more likely to remain fat in adulthood.
One in 20 cancers is caused by being overweight and fat, linked to 13 different types of deadly diseases.
The government’s own analysis shows that a ban on junk food television ads could reduce the number of obese children by more than 20,000.
The England football team, which reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup last month and whose players are idolized by millions of children, is sponsoring huge sums of money from a number of corporate giants, including Snickers, Lucozade and Coca-Cola. .
Last month, donut maker Krispy Kreme heralded the arrival of the New Year by launching a marketing campaign in the UK calling for people to ‘kick-start January’ by urging people to buy high-sugar products to ‘brighten treat time’, adding: ‘Easy to say Yes”.
Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said: “We will demand [Chancellor Jeremy Hunt] finds money to implement a proper obesity strategy. During his years as Minister of Health, he did little to nothing to combat obesity. Since 2016, he has promised draconian measures but has not taken any of them.
“He told me he tried, but clearly he wasn’t trying hard enough. Now he can fulfill his final demand as chair of the Commons Health select committee, which is [former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s] The 2020 Obesity Plan, which was just an attempt to fight obesity, is immediately reinstated. But it needs to be more comprehensive.”
Cancers of the breast, colon, pancreas, esophagus, gallbladder, uterus, ovaries, kidneys, liver, upper stomach, myeloma, meningioma, and thyroid cancer are associated with obesity.
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