A health chief is urging Coca-Cola not to offer children sugary drinks as its festive truck visits Glasgow this weekend.
Dr Linda de Caestecker, director of public health at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, urged the drinks giant to act responsibly and promote a healthy start by only offering sugar-free drinks or water.
The Coca-Cola truck will visit Silverburn Shopping Centre on November 11 and Asda Robroyston on November 12 as part of its festive tour of the UK.
Dr de Caestecker said the population is already consuming too much sugar and warned that drastic action is needed to tackle childhood obesity.
— Coca-Cola GB (@CocaCola_GB) November 3, 2017
Latest figures show that almost one in five children are overweight or obese when they start primary school and almost one in three by the time they leave primary school, and she fears half of all children will be overweight or obese by 2020 unless action is taken.
She said: “There is a lot of excitement for children when the Coca-Cola festive truck visits towns up and down the country.
“This weekend the truck is visiting two venues in Glasgow and I am asking them to help us provide a healthy start for young children by only offering sugar-free drinks or water.
“We are asking Coca-Cola to stop promoting sugary drinks during the ‘Happy Holidays’ truck tour and only distribute sugar-free drinks and water to the general public, in particular to children.
“Our population is already consuming too much sugar and a small can of standard Cola contains almost the maximum daily amount of sugar recommended for a small child. It is not, therefore, just a small festive treat but gives a very poor message to families.”
A Coca-Cola spokeswoman said: “The Coca-Cola Christmas truck tour provides a moment of fun for everyone in the build-up to Christmas and we’ve had a positive response from many people in Glasgow to the news that it will stop there this year.
“The truck tour is a one-off, annual event where we offer people a choice of 150ml samples of Coca-Cola Classic, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar or Diet Coke – so two of the three options are no-sugar drinks.
“We also have a policy of not providing drinks to children under the age of 12, unless their parent or guardian is present and says they can have one.”