NHS boss condemns English cricket's sponsorship deal with KP Snacks

10/10/2019 - 05:00
The head of the NHS has criticised English cricket for letting KP Snacks sponsor a new tournament that is designed to encourage young people to play the game.

It was reported in The Guardian that Simon Stevens said the deal with the maker of Skips, Hula Hoops and Butterkist would ‘undermine’ the fight against childhood obesity.

“If you think about the extra demand [on the NHS] that is being created through the obesity epidemic, with poor diet now a bigger risk factor for ill health than smoking, it is disappointing … when for example you see the English cricket board doing a deal with junk food aimed at children,” he told NHS leaders at the NHS Providers annual conference in Manchester.

“I would hope when those sorts of deals are being considered in future, people make a different choice … Let’s not see these benefits negated by commercial sponsorship deals that explicitly prompt our kids to fill up with snacks and junk food.”

The Hundred’s shorter format is intended to encourage more children and young people to watch and play cricket. KP Snacks said it was ‘helping to grow cricket and encourage families to get active’. However, anti-obesity campaigners such as the Obesity Health Alliance and National Obesity Forum have also said a snack producer is not an appropriate sponsor.

Stevens also urged ministers to be ‘led by the evidence’ that the sugar tax works before deciding whether to extend the levy to other products.

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