Keith Vaz MP, Britain’s senior most Asian politician, asked Coca-Cola to drop the company’s move to distribute free drink in Leicester
Keith Vaz said the promotion of sugary drinks is the ‘wrong thing’ for Leicester where a third of children have tooth decay at a time of record obesity levels among children in Britain, the Daily Mail reported.
The Labour MP for Leicester East, who has cut out sugar since being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, criticised Coca-Cola as many including Jamie Oliver are calling for a tax on sugary drinks and food. But Prime Minister David Cameron ruled out imposing a tax in the near future.
The Coca-Cola truck tour is scheduled to stop at 46 locations in the UK as part of the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Holidays Are Coming advert.
Mr Vaz said: ‘The Coca-Cola truck is not welcome in Leicester, and this national tour to promote sugar-laden drinks is ill-judged and unwise at a time of record diabetes and obesity levels.’
Coca-Cola has said drinks will not be handed out to children under the age of 12 but Mr Vaz said the tour will still have a damaging effect.
‘Coca-Cola have said the truck will not be giving their products to younger children, but this is clearly unenforceable,’ he said. This tour is not the “real thing”, it is the wrong thing.’
Campaign group Action on Sugar joined Mr Vaz in criticising the drinks company, saying there needs to be tighter marketing regulations to prevent Coca-Cola associating itself with the Christmas holiday.