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Get chocs off shelf! Early Easter eggs ‘fuel obesity’

SUPERMARKETS are helping to fuel the obesity crisis by selling Easter eggs too early, a health charity has claimed

Easter Sunday is three weeks away, but nearly one in four Britons (23 per cent) have already bought and eaten at least one full-sized egg, a Royal Society for Public Health study found.

But 77 per cent think retailers sell the treats too early, the poll found.

The average Easter egg contains about three-quarters of an adult’s recommended daily calorie intake and RSPH chief executive Shirley Cramer said it wasn’t ‘uncommon to find Easter eggs on sale in early January’.

‘We recognise special occasions, such as Easter, are a time for indulgence and treats. However, it is clear many shops are pushing products way too early,’ she said.

With 27 per cent of adults in the UK considered obese — the highest rate in western Europe — she said if supermarkets ‘are serious about tackling the obesity epidemic, we would urge retailers to change their marketing strategies in the interest of the public’s health’.

Louise Meincke, head of policy at the World Cancer Research Fund, said selling eggs weeks before Easter was ‘unacceptable’. She urged the government to ‘implement policies that make our daily environments healthier’ to give children the best start by reducing their risk of cancer and other health conditions associated with obesity’.

Her call came after the poll of 2,000 people showed 57 per cent of parents said their child had been tempted by Easter treats displayed near checkouts.