Derek is supporting legislation in Parliament requiring soft drinks manufacturers to reduce quantities of sugar in their products and give a proportion of their profits back into diabetes prevention research.
Derek co-sponsored the Diabetes Prevention (Soft Drinks) Ten-Minute Rule Bill, introduced by Keith Vaz MP, which enjoys cross-party support and was accepted unopposed when it came before MPs after Prime Ministers' Questions on Wednesday 18 April. The Bill's Second Reading is due to take place this Friday 27 April.
The Bill's call for government intervention in the growing obesity and diabetes epidemics follows the introduction last year of a 'fat tax' in Denmark, and the approval of a 'soda tax' in December by the French Constitutional Council.
There is a firmly established link between obesity and development of type 2 diabetes, with four-fifths of type 2 diabetes cases preventable by more healthy llifestyles. Excessive sugar consumption is an important factor in such cases, and those seeking to lower the levels of sugar and fat in their diet often overlook the impact soft drinks have on their calorie intake. A 330ml can of soft drinks may contain up to 8 teaspoons of sugar.
"I am very concerned by the rising levels of obesity and diabetes in Halton and across the country. We need to send a strong message about the importance of a health diet and the dangers of excessive sugar consumption. This Bill is a good starting point."
Mr Vaz said;
"I was delighted to have Derek Twigg's support for my Ten Minute Rule Bill - it is measures like this that will help us beat these formidable health colleagues."