London Mayor backs FizzFreeFeb campaign

Mark Johnson's picture
by Mark Johnson

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has backed the FizzFreeFeb campaign to get Londoners to give up sugary drinks in the battle against rising diabetes in the capital.

“Drinking just one 330ml can of fizzy drink a day could add over a stone of weight gain per year”, the Mayor said in a Twitter post. “I’m cutting out fizzy drinks for #FizzFreeFeb to highlight the impacts of sugar on obesity and tooth decay. Join me and #GoFizzFree”.

Embedded rich media on Twitter

Flat out: London Mayor, Khan says he's going fizz free this Feb

TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and politician Tom Watson are also supporting this year’s campaign.

The month long campaign was started by the London Borough of Southwark last year and has now gone national.

For this year’s campaign, Southwark has included a pledge page on its website to help people join in.

Campaigning council: Southwark started FizzFreeFeb last year

It says there three strong reasons to give up fizzy drinks, including saving money, which it estimates can be up to £438 a year if you stopped drinking one bottle of soft drink, per day, for a year.

Southwark also claims just one 330ml can of fizzy drink a day could add up to over a stone weight gain per year and can cause tooth decay, which is said is the leading cause for hospitalisation among five to nine year olds in the UK.

The British Soft Drinks Association said the industry recognised the need to reduce sugar levels in fizzy drinks, and defended manufacturers’ efforts so far.

“The soft drinks industry recognises it has a role to play in helping to tackle childhood obesity which is why we have led the way in calorie and sugar reduction”, said BSDA director general, Gavin Partington.

“Soft drinks is the only category to have already hit Public Health England’s calorie-reduction target of 20% by 2020.’

“Kantar Worldpanel data shows overall sugar intake from soft drinks is down by 22.9% since 2014”, Partington said, adding that “[D]ata released by the government last week shows a decline of 17 percentage points in teenagers’ sugar intake from soft drinks between 2008/09 and 2016/17.”

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