News Children's Food Campaign

Local health campaigners hand out toothbrushes and tell Labour Conference: ‘Tax the Can and help people to Give Up Loving Pop’

Today, Monday 26 September, Food Active, a Liverpool-based healthy weight campaign, is handing out free toothbrushes to Labour Party Conference delegates and confronting the soft drinks industry's attempts to block a sugary drinks tax.  This activity is in response to the British Soft Drinks Association’s sponsorship of a fringe meeting about tackling obesity, and their lobbying at the Conference and to MPs to stop the Government’s proposed Soft Drinks Industry Levy.

Robin Ireland, organiser of Food Active’s ‘Give Up Loving Pop’ initiative, said:
“The British Soft Drinks Association’s propaganda machine is not welcome in our city, or anywhere else in the North West. Public health directors in the North West have called for strong measures that would help tackle the high rates of obesity, Type 2 diabetes and dental decay. Families and community groups tell us they want more help to ‘give up loving pop’, and that’s what a sugary drinks tax would do.”
Malcolm Clark, co-ordinator of Children’s Food Campaign, said:
“We are in Liverpool today to support local health campaigners, who are trying to counteract the big money and slick spin of corporate lobbyists. Coca Cola and other major brands seem intent on putting their short-term profits above children’s health and the NHS’s finances. These companies are trying to defeat sensible, effective measures which would make healthier choices cheaper and the norm. Soft drinks still are the number one source of sugar in children’s diets. That’s why it’s time to Tax the Can.”
Media contacts:
For interviews, and for further information, please contact:
Robin Ireland, Chief Executive, Health Equalities Group and co-ordinator of Food Active / 07802864414 / 0151 237 2686
Malcolm Clark, coordinator, Children’s Food Campaign / 0773332148 / @childrensfood
1) Toothbrushes – local health campaigners will be handing out toothbrushes to Conference delegates between 12.30pm-2pm at the entrance to the secure zone of the Labour Party Conference, by the Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool, Kings Dock, Liverpool Waterfront, L3 4FP. The toothbrushes will have stickers on with facts about sugar and sugary drinks.
2) Food Active is a collaborative programme launched by the North West Directors of Public Health in November 2013 to tackle increasing levels of obesity. Focusing on population-level interventions which take steps to address the social, environmental, economic and legislative factors that affect people’s ability to change their behaviour.
3) Give Up Loving Pop (gulp) is a campaign from Food Active which aims to raise awareness in the North West of the health harms associated with over consumption of sugary drinks.
4) Children’s Food Campaign aims to improve children and young people's health by campaigning for policy
changes in our schools, in our communities and throughout our society that would promote healthy
and sustainable food environments. The Children's Food Campaign is supported by over 100 UK-
wide and national organisations, including public health professional bodies, trade unions, school food
experts, children’s charities and environmental groups. We are a campaign of the charity Sustain: the  alliance for better food and farming.
5) Obesity Health Alliance - The Children's Food Campaign is also a member of the Obesity Health Alliance
(OHA) - a coalition of over 30 organisations committed to share expertise and support Government to tackle the issue of overweight and obesity in the UK.
6) British Soft Drinks Association sponsored fringe at Labour Party Conference
New Statesman fringe, sponsored by British Soft Drinks Assocation / Can the Tax
Monday 26 September
Albert Suite, Pullman Hotel, Liverpool (NB inside secure zone, passholders only)
Exploring how community and local government-based strategies and initiatives can be supported by the soft drinks industry to develop solutions to Britain’s obesity problem.
Luciana Berger MP - Former Shadow Minister for Mental Health
Jessica Studdert - Deputy Director, New Local Government Network
Gavin Partington - Director General, BSDA
NB Can the Tax is the campaign set up by the Food and Drink Federation and BSDA to try to stop the   Treasury going ahead with the Soft Drinks Industry Levy.  They have employed Portland as their public affairs agency and have a budget in the several £100,000s minimum.

Published Monday 26 September 2016

Children's Food Campaign: Better food and food teaching for children in schools, and protection of children from junk food marketing are the aims of Sustain's high-profile Children's Food Campaign. We also want clear food labelling that can be understood by everyone, including children.

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