Published on 25 July 2014

Campaign group Avaaz have teamed up with Action on Sugar for a petition calling on Prime Minister David Cameron and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to end the "sugar epidemic" in the UK.

Action on Sugar was launched recently by leading health experts from across the globe to tackle type 2 diabetes and obesity by urging the food industry to reduce the levels of sugar in their products.

The petition calls on the Government to "introduce mandatory labels that clearly display the worst types of sugar in our food, and to force the food industry to cut its sugar use by 40% by 2020. We also call on you to ban junk food ads on all marketing channels that reach children. These simple steps could prevent the public health crisis we are currently heading towards."

Cardiologist and Science Director of Action on Sugar, Dr. Aseem Malhotra, said: “As a doctor, I see the terrible things sugar does to us every day — from diabetes to obesity to heart disease. The damage is so huge that our children may be the first generation to live shorter lives than their parents. But now we have a chance to stop this deadly sugar epidemic.

"You’re probably eating far more sugar than you realise. The food industry uses it excessively, even where we least expect it — ready meals, soup, you name it. It’s got so bad that a group of government advisors just said our sugar intake needs to be cut in half to protect our health. That's a great first step — but big food companies will fight tooth and nail to stop it happening. And that’s where we all come in."

"There are three simple steps the government can take to stop the sugar rush: introduce clear sugar labels on food products, force the food industry to cut its sugar use by 40% and ban junk food ads targeting our kids. Advisors just told our government that drastic sugar cuts are needed — our plan will do exactly that. Let’s call on our politicians to sign up to it. Click to add your voice, then share this with everyone."

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