Cancer Council backs parents in condemning sugary snacks

CANCER Council Queensland has backed calls from concerned parents for fruit to be reinstated as half and full time snacks during kids' sports games.

Queensland parents spoke out over the weekend in an effort to reverse an unhealthy trend of lollies being offered to children as mid and post-game snacks.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift backed the call to eliminate the lollies, a move that would help combat growing rates of childhood obesity.

"It's disappointing to hear that many Queensland parents feel pressured and powerless to talk to each other and to their sports clubs to see this change," Ms Clift said.

"Excessive sugar consumption is associated with serious health issues such as weight gain and obesity - which can lead to some cancers, type 2 diabetes and heart problems.

"While obesity is caused by a range of complex factors, we know that eating a healthy diet and limiting sugary, fatty and salty food and drinks is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy weight.

"We encourage parents to talk to sports clubs and committees and to get fruits and vegetables on the halftime agenda.

"Oranges, apples, bananas, carrots, watermelon, even small wholegrain sandwiches with protein would provide a healthy mid-game energy boost."

Cancer Council Queensland backed the State Government's push for a ban on soft drink sales at children's sporting events earlier this year.

Chief health officer Jeanette Young urged parents to call on sports club committees to ban soft drinks at weekend sport, saying consumption after a game reinforced great behaviour with bad nutrition.

At least one-third of all cancers are preventable through lifestyle adjustments including eating a healthy diet, being physically active, reducing alcohol intake and maintaining a healthy weight.

Around 27 per cent of Queensland children (aged five to 17) are currently overweight or obese, with the figure expected to rise as the state's obesity crises worsens.

Queensland schools, businesses and community groups are invited to join CCQ's QUEST to make the healthy choice, the easy choice. Go to quest.org.au.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at www.cancerqld.org.au or Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20.



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