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Critics: UK plan to cut child obesity lacks muscle

LONDON – Britain has unveiled a plan to battle rising child obesity by urging food manufacturers to cut down on sugar and getting primary schools to make pupils do more exercise.

But health campaigners have slammed the government for failing to restrict junk food advertising aimed at children.

The government wants manufacturers to cut the amount of sugar in products popular with children, including cereals, candy and desserts, by 20 per cent over five years. Officials say they will consider “alternative levers” if the voluntary target isn’t met.

Britain has already announced a “sugar tax” on sodas to start in 2018.

Parveen Kumar, chairwoman of the British Medical Association board of science, said Thursday that it was “incredibly disappointing” that the plan didn’t include restrictions on marketing of unhealthy food and drinks.