No, children have not been 'banned' from eating chocolate bars

Robin Utrecht/ABACAPRESS.COMMars Bars: Not banned.
  • The Sun reports that new government guidelines have “banned” children from eating chocolate bars.
  • However, the story actually refers to new guidelines on healthy eating that encourage parents to limit high-calorie snacks.
  • No children have been banned by the government from eating Mars Bars.

LONDON – The Sun reports on its front page today that children in England have been “banned” from eating high-calorie treats, such as Mars Bars.

According to their story, which is headlined “Mars Barmy: Kids banned from eating treats,” children will no longer be able to eat many popular chocolate bars.

“Kids will be banned from eating chocolate bars,” the Sun claims, citing “tough new Government guidelines” which “limit treats to a maximum of two 100-calorie snacks a day, ruling out Mars Bars which have 230.”

The Sun mars barsThe SunThe Sun front page

So is it true? Will children no longer be allowed to buy a Mars from their local corner shop? The short answer is no.

What the paper is referring to is a new healthy eating campaign by Public Health England, which rather than banning chocolate bars, simply encourages parents to limit the amount of high-calorie snacks consumed by their children.

According to PHE: “Public Health England (PHE) is helping parents take control of their children’s snacking by launching the first Change4Life campaign promoting healthier snacks…

“The new Change4Life campaign encourages parents to look for ‘100 calorie snacks, two a day max’ to help them purchase healthier snacks than the ones they currently buy.”

As part of the campaign, some supermarkets will take steps to encourage parents to make healthier choices.

Parents will also be offered money-off vouchers for healthier snacks such as “malt loaf, lower-sugar fromage frais, and drinks with no added sugar.”

While some people may still balk at the government or supermarkets telling parents how they should feed their kids, it is very far from the “ban” suggested by the Sun’s front page.

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