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'Early' Easter egg sales fuelling obesity, charity warns

Sky News logo Sky News 29/03/2019

Retailers have been urged to stop selling Easter eggs too early in the year to help tackle the obesity crisis.

The average Easter egg contains nearly 75% of an adult's recommended daily calorie intake © PA The average Easter egg contains nearly 75% of an adult's recommended daily calorie intake

Half of the UK has already bought and eaten at least one chocolate treat related to Easter, a survey by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) found.

Nearly a quarter (23%) have consumed at least one full-size Easter egg and 77% of those surveyed by the health charity want supermarkets to stop putting them on sale so early.

More than a third (38%) claim their diet is less healthy than normal when supermarkets push seasonal products.

RSPH chief executive Shirley Cramer said: "We recognise that special occasions such as Easter are a time for indulgence and treats.

"However, it is clear that many shops and supermarkets are pushing products way too early - it isn't uncommon to find Easter eggs on sale in the first week of January.

"If supermarkets are serious about tackling the obesity epidemic, we would urge retailers to change their marketing strategies in the interest of the public's health."

The average Easter egg contains almost three-quarters of an adult's recommended daily calorie intake, the RSPH said.

Latest figures suggest that around 27% of UK adults are obese - the highest rate in Western Europe.

More than 20% of Year 6 pupils (aged 10) are obese and as many as 4.2% are classified as "severely obese".

Louise Meincke, head of policy at the World Cancer Research Fund, said: "Advertising and selling Easter eggs weeks, and sometimes even months, in advance of the holiday is just another tactic used by industry to encourage people to make unhealthy choices.

"This is unacceptable during the current global obesity crisis."

Populus surveyed 2,000 UK adults between 22 March and 24 March for the report.

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