The UK's chief medical officer wants to ban eating on public transport 9 months ago

The UK's chief medical officer wants to ban eating on public transport

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The UK government should put children’s health before companies’ profits, according to the outgoing chief medical officer Sally Davies.

In her last report before stepping down as CMO, she said the health of children was “in politicians’ hands” and there is strong public support for further action.

Davies, in her final report, said: “Today’s children are drowning in a flood of unhealthy food and drink options, compounded by insufficient opportunities for being active.

“I want to see our children’s health, not companies’ profits, put at the forefront of government policy. It is every child’s right to live in a world that promotes, not harms, their health.”

She also called for a ban on eating and drinking on urban public transport with exceptions for drinking fresh water and eating and drinking for medical conditions.

In addition, she recommended price hikes through VAT changes on junk foods high in salt, sugar or fat, with the option of plain packaging for sugary goods.

"The unavoidable fact is that over time our environment has become very unhealthy without us realising," she said.

"Our children are now suffering from painful, potentially life-limiting disease.

"Our politicians need to be bold and help everyone embrace healthier life choices."

Some of the other recommendations in the report are:

  • A review VAT rates on food, higher rates on unhealthy food and the excess used to supplement healthy choices
  • Ending the marketing, promotion and sponsorship of unhealthy food and drink at all major public venues
  • Healthy meals introduced at low cost to schools
  • Banning eating and drinking on urban public transport, with some exceptions
  • Capping the number of calories per serving for all food and drink by food outlets
  • Getting suppliers and packaging firms to reduce portion-sized packaging for fast food