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Junk food alert at leisure centres

27th October 2009

The British Heart Foundation has warned that machines which sell crisps and chocolate at sports centres could be contributing to childhood obesity.

crisps

According to a report by the Food Commission, junk food was on sale at leisure centres although it is not allowed to be sold at schools or advertised on television.

The report checked 35 centres and found that meals on sale to children mainly consisted of fatty and fried foods, such as sausages and chicken nuggets.

They found that the average number of calories in a snack for sale in a vending machine was 203 calories. A seven-year-old child would have to swim for nearly an hour and a half in order to burn up the same amount of calories.

Fewer than 50% of the centres offered fresh fruit for sale and only two centres provided nutritional information about the food they had on offer.

BHF chief executive Peter Hollins said: "It's fantastic that these kids are getting fit and having fun at the same time but this is being undermined by venues peddling junk food at them."

"Councils and leisure providers need to rigorously reconsider the food options they are providing and make it easier for parents and children to make healthier choices." 

 

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