Doctor recommends banning snacking on public transport

Dame Sally Davies has said that snacking should be banned on public transport and extra taxes placed on unhealthy foods to tackle child obesity.

The outgoing chief medical officer has revealed her final report, stressing that families needed more help to make healthier choices and that ministers need to be bolder in their fight to reduce rates of obesity.

She highlighted the success of the sugar tax - a levy which has been applied on sugary drinks since last year - pointing to evidence that it had reduced sugar consumption by more than a fifth through a combination of people choosing lower sugar drinks and industry changing the sugar content of products.

Amongst the other recommended actions, the chief medical officer suggested the phasing out all marketing, advertising and sponsorship of unhealthy food and drink, free water refills to be available at all food outlets, transport stations and public sector buildings, regular car-free weekends across the country and extending the sugar tax to include milk-based drinks.

Approximately a third are obese or overweight by the age of 11, with the proportion of obese and overweight children has doubled in the past 30 years. There are signs the increase has begun to level off, but among the most deprived communities rates are still increasing.

Dame Sally said: "The unavoidable fact is that over time our environment has become very unhealthy without us realising. Our children are now suffering from painful, potentially life-limiting disease. Our politicians need to be bold and help everyone embrace healthier life choices."