The recommendation to ban eating on public transport is just one small step, says Richard Carter, a better approach may be to introduce levies on the takeaway boxes, says Rachel Hadden, and Brian Josephson points out that the ban is not on all public transport
Your correspondents (Letters, 11 October) complain that the recommendation by Sally Davies, the former chief medical officer, to ban eating on public transport is impracticable and patronising. This is not helped by your article’s focus on one minor but eye-catching recommendation in a detailed report from Davies (Ban eating on buses and trains, health chief urges, 10 October).
Far more significant are the principles for action proposed, the leading ones being (a) that policy needs to rebalance the food and drinks sold to favour healthy options through regulation and (b) to allow children to grow up free from marketing and incentives to consume unhealthy food and drinks. These are the underlying causes of childhood obesity, with the huge resources of the fast-food industry being used to bombard children in particular with its advertising. This acts to counter messages on healthy eating, and the report argues that government action is vital to curb this relentless stream of misinformation. .
Dr Richard Carter
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