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British politician calls for ban of Coca Cola's Christmas truck from city for obesity concerns

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-08-19 11:35 Comments

British politician calls for ban of Coca Cola's Christmas truck from city for obesity concerns

Coca-Cola Christmas Truck visits Bull Ring Shopping Center on December 3, 2013 in Birmingham, England. [Photo/VCG]

LIVERPOOL, Britain - For thousands of kids, it's the next best thing to watch Santa Claus arriving on his sleigh at Christmas time.

The famous magical Coca Cola Christmas truck attracts armies of youngsters as it pulls up in shopping centers across Britain in the days before December 25.

One leading politician on Thursday called for the ban of the bright-red highly illuminated Coca Cola truck from his city as part of the battle against obesity.

Councillor Richard Kemp, leader of the Liberal Democrats on Liverpool City Council, has called on the city's main shopping mall owners at Liverpool One to ban the truck from the city.

Kemp made his call on the day when the national government produced what critics have called a lukewarm and limited "Childhood Obesity Strategy."

He said: "In Liverpool, sugar is the new tobacco. At 11 years of age, 30 percent of the children in our city are obese, one in 10 of those are clinically obese."

"Almost all of them will become obese adults with a cost to the NHS of 5.1 billion pounds a year (6.72 billion US dollars). This takes no account of the personal misery of the conditions which have to be treated; the shortened lives that many of them will have and the cost to businesses they work for because of sick leave."

"The causes are many and the actions needed to deal with them are even more varied. There is one thing on which everyone agrees. Too many children are drinking too many fizzy, sugary drinks. That is why last year in the run-up to Christmas, I was appalled to see a big promotion by Coca-Cola when its red van visited Liverpool as part of its advertising campaign tour around the country."

"To my mind this glorifies the sale of something which is often consumed in vast quantities with people having little knowledge of just how dangerous the sugar content can be to the long-term health of them and their children."

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