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keeping you up to date with the latest industry news


It’s no secret that exercise is suggested to help with a variety of human issues, right from treating depression to improving memory. In particular, recent research suggests exercise leads to the release of certain neurotransmitters in the brain that alleviates pain, both physical and mental. Much of the research done in this area focuses on running, but all types of aerobic exercise can provide benefits. 

So, can exercise really make you feel significantly better mentally?

Findings published in the scientific research journal, Psychology, suggest that physical exhaustion can cause a reduction in a person’s fear levels, for example the fear of flying. In a recent experiment the efficiency of intense aerobic exercise approaching physical exhaustion was investigated as an effective part of therapy for reduction of an individual’s fear reaction.

The study had a total of ten participants, five male and five female aged 30 – 40 years old. All were pre-tested before exercising to verify their current fear levels.  Subjects met in a gym within a one-week period with three sessions of intense aerobic exercise, with a one day rest period after each session. 

The intense aerobic exercises were delivered by different experts in their respective fields. During the intense aerobic exercise, the subjects utilised all of the equipment available inside the gym, up to the point of their exhaustion. The sessions lasted for 2 to 3 hours. The participants were then post-tested after exercising to determine the possible change of their fear level, using a pre-established Fear Questionnaire. 

Findings showed that there was a significant reduction in participants’ levels of fear through physical exhaustion by the use of intense aerobic exercises. See results below. 

ImageEven though this research is in the early stages of development, it is a clear indication that exercise has the power to alleviate fear and calls on a need for further research in the area.

Other studies have also looked into the idea of physical exhaustion as a form of treatment of anxiety. Ströhie et al. (2005) demonstrated in an experiment that aerobic exercise is effective in treating panic and panic attacks. They used aerobic exercise for 30 minutes at 70% of maximum oxygen consumption.

To read the research in full please visit the scientific research journal’s website.  

Ströhle, S., Feller, C., Godemann, F., Heinz, A., Onken, M., & Dimeo, F. (2005). The acute anti-panic activity of aerobic exercise. American Journal of Psychiatry, 162, 2376-2378

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Motivation and goal setting play two very important roles in the fitness industry. Whether it’s working up to the next level of weights, achieving a quicker time, upping your bench press or getting fitter for a holiday, everyone needs something to drive them on.

As an exercise professional, your members look to you for inspiration, setting realistic aspirations and challenges.

Everyone has their own individual way of pushing themselves. Many prefer to have a goal to aim for. This can give the necessary boost of enthusiasm to put in that extra bit of effort. Marathons, fun runs and other sponsored events fulfil this role splendidly.

The Fit in Kit Charity Challenge is a brand new charity event which is fun, challenging and rewarding. Best of all you get to support the challenge in your own work kit.

The fitness event supports ‘Hounds for Heroes’ that provides specially trained assistance dogs to injured and disabled members of the armed forces and emergency services.

Gyms around the country are invited to take part as well as sports clubs, barracks, squadrons and emergency services.

‘Fit in Kit’ takes place on 29th June at Admiral Lord Nelson School in Portsmouth. Activities are designed for differing levels of fitness, as well as fun pursuits for children and dog walkers! Groups are also encouraged to set up their own events.

Why not use this time to get fit along with your members and kit up to support this fantastic challenge?

For more information visit:

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winners and runners up

Congratulations to the winners of The National Finals of the brand new Central YMCA Qualifications (CYQ) Fitness Trainer Competition, which were held last Thursday at St George’s Park, Burton-Upon-Trent.

Jordan Hopes, from City College Norwich was named winner of the Level 2 Fitness Instructor – Gym category. Phil Lant of the College of West Anglia and Danielle Lines of Hartlepool College were awarded second and third places.

Toby Williamson, from Petroc was named the best in the Level 3 Personal Trainer category. Eloise Head of Brockenhurst and Stuart MacDonald of Birmingham Met came second and third.

The twelve finalists competed in the two categories to be crowned top trainers and to lift the coveted 2013 CYQ Fitness Trainer Competition trophy, which was set up by CYQ in collaboration with British Colleges Sport (BCS). It was hailed as a huge success by organisers, competitors and judges.

REPs was delighted to support the CYQ Fitness Trainer Competition by awarding the winners and runners-up one year’s free REPs membership.

The competition was judged by a team of expert industry professionals. Winners have also won the opportunity to undertake a weeks’ work experience at Perform St George’s Park.

It was a great opportunity for competitors to apply their learning, knowledge and skills in a controlled environment. The experience will enhance their CV and further prepare them for employment. Contests of this nature can only help to improve standards in the industry and be of benefit to participants.


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REPs is excited to support the National Finals of the brand new Central YMCA Qualifications (CYQ) Fitness Trainer Competition, which is being held at St George’s Park, Burton-Upon-Trent this Thursday (2nd May). The National Final will see the winners of each of eleven BCS regional heats, chosen from the hundreds who originally entered, compete against each other on this final day of competition.

This competition has been set up by CYQ in collaboration with British Colleges Sport (BCS). Fitness students from further education colleges across the UK will be competing in two competitions under the CYQ Fitness Trainer Competition umbrella: Level 2 Fitness Instructor – Gym and Level 3 Personal Trainer.

REPs is delighted to support the CYQ Fitness Trainer Competition by awarding the winners and runners-up one year’s free REPs membership. Competitors are judged by a team of expert industry professionals.

Contests of this nature can only serve to raise the standards of individuals who graduate with recognised qualifications. The hard work and dedication of competitors and the excellence demonstrated by the winners can only help to improve standards in the industry and be of benefit to participants.

It is hoped that this opportunity for competitors to apply their learning, knowledge and skills within a creative and challenging environment will provide an experience to enhance their CV and further prepare them for employment.


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[caption id="attachment_1875" align="aligncenter" width="510"]Report Title Picture 'Start Active, Stay Active' Report issued by ([/caption]

In 2011, the four Chief Medical Officers (CMO) of the UK jointly issued recommendations for the levels of physical activity of our population.

They stated that:

  • Children of pre-school age (under 5 years old), who are capable of walking unaided, should be active for at least 180 minutes spread throughout the day
  • Children and young people aged 5-18 should be active at a moderate to vigorous intensity for at least 60 minutes or more a day
  • Adults aged 19-64 should aim to be active daily. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more
  • Older adults aged 65 and over should aim to be active daily. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more

Achieving the CMO’s guidelines can bring about major health benefits.  Even relatively small increases in physical activity are associated with some protection against chronic diseases and may improve quality of life.

In 2010, approximately 47% of adults were inactive, i.e. doing less than 30 minutes of activity a week.  There is a need to increase levels of physical activity across the whole population, and especially for those who lead sedentary lifestyles.

Being active is about moving more in any way which fits into our lives.  From walking and cycling as part of everyday life, to exercising in a gym, playing sports, or just tidying up the garden. Even small changes can make a difference.

Read more about CMO guidelines in Start Active, Stay Active.

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Last week the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association’s (IHRSA) 32nd Annual International Convention & Tradeshow took place in Las Vegas.

During the four exciting days of conference REPs UK was represented by its Registrar Jean-Ann Marnoch, who addressed the IHRSA delegates in three sessions.

The first session “National Registers and International Recognition of Fitness Professionals” was co-presented by the Chair of the International Confederation of Registers of Exercise Professionals (ICREPs) Richard Beddie. During the talk they explained how individual training providers can gain accreditation by ICREPs in order to get recognition in countries without an ICREPs National Register membership.

The focus of the second and third session was on how to set up a Register and what benefits it holds - “Certification, a global perspective” and “Developing National Instructor Registration System: What you need to know”.

The sessions were very well received and even inspired several international organisations to set up their own Registers!

This is very good news and means that we’re one step closer to increased international recognition and a global accreditation of our members.

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Screenshot REPs Mini Modules

Recently we have launched a brilliant tool called Mini Modules, which enables REPs members to quickly become an expert in certain areas and to earn up to 4 CPD points a year.

Modules are provided by REPs approved training providers and are free to complete online. Currently we’re offering a great variety from “Exercise for Ultimate Fat Loss – Myths and Misunderstandings” and “The Muscular System” to “Food Labelling” and “Healthy Eating Guidelines”.

Completing them you can achieve 4 of your CPD points a year (1 CPD point per module).

Visit our website and see which Mini Module you could take today!

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vitality show

The second year in a row the Register for Exercise Professionals was represented with a stand at the Vitality Show in London. It is the UK’s largest health, beauty and fitness event, which takes place at Earls Court.

We had a fantastic team of qualified personal trainers consulting the public and providing them with inspiration, encouragement and help for healthy lifestyle choices. In a competition we gave away personal trainer sessions for the visitors to win, which was a huge success and drew their attention to REPs.

The REPs stand was perceived as a great meeting point for existing REPs members and for the exercise professionals of the future, our students in training, as it offered an ideal space to network and to receive professional advice.

This year’s Vitality Show offered a great framework for the Register to further establish REPs image in the public eye and to communicate its benefits to potential members.

We’ll hope to see everyone again in the next year!

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The International Confederation of Exercise Professionals (ICREPs) admitted the National Fitness Leadership Alliance (NFLA) as its first North American member, which represents 10,000 exercise professionals in Canada.

Richard Beddie, ICREPs chair, said he is very happy with the outcome as the demand for independent registration bodies increases steadily. He stressed this move as timely and important as many training providers in Canada and around the world are trying to establish an accreditation system, but ICREPs only recognises the registers that work independently of training providers.

Following are ICREPs key criteria for independent registers to join:

  • Non-profit legal entity
  • Operating independently from training providers and exercise facilities
  • Operating a register on a national level
  • Supported by the industry

REPs UK is part of ICREPs, which is a membership based organisation with members operating in four continents, over seven countries, and collectively register over 60,000 individual exercise professionals.

Jean-Ann Marnoch (REPs UK Registrar) stated “We are very excited that Canada is joining ICREPs and look forward to the mapping of our standards to facilitate the reciprocal arrangements so that our members will be able to work in Canada.”

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We’re delighted to announce that REPs UAE has achieved full membership of the relevant global organisation for national fitness registers. Following a rigorous application process REPs UAE was admitted to ICREPs at a major global fitness convention in the United States.

REPs UAE Chief Executive Naser Al Tamimi and Technical Director Ben Gittus attended the annual IHRSA convention in Las Vegas from 18 - 21 March. At the convention REPs UAE were able to present the application for full membership of ICREPs in person. The ICREPs Board who took the decision to admit REPs UAE includes representatives of fitness registers in UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada.

REPs UAE can also announce that Richard Beddie, CEO of Fitness New Zealand and Chair of ICREPs will join a new 'REPs UAE Oversight Committee' which will oversee general running of the register and confirm REPs UAE operates on a non-profit basis.

Global acceptance as a high quality fitness register is a key milestone in the development of REPs UAE. Working with partners including Dubai Sports Council REPs UAE will continue the drive to increase and maintain standards of instruction in the UAE fitness industry.

REPs UAE Chief Executive Mr Naser Al Tamimi said 'I was very pleased to attend IHRSA 2013 in Las Vegas and interact with the global fitness industry and the other fitness registers from around the world. Full membership of ICREPs confirms REPs UAE is being set up in line with global best practice and allows us to move ahead with increasing professionalism in UAE fitness and promote exercise to the community'.

Richard Beddie, Chair of ICREPs said 'it is fantastic that we have been able to admit REPs UAE as a full member, we look forward to working with them to improve industry standards in UAE, the wider region and the world. On a personal level, I am delighted to join a committee to support the operation of REPs UAE'.

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We are afraid to announce that the new Level 4 Strength and Conditioning category will not be available from the 1st April, as previously mentioned. However, rest assured that we are working hard to have it ready in the coming months.

The new category is being created following significant demand from REPs members, for a new Level 4 role amongst Personal Trainers. This will allow them to reach the highest level of their profession (without needing a specialism in a medical area).

This category will be available to REPs instructors who have achieved the UK Strength & Conditioning Association UKSCA accreditation, which supports employability via this route.

An instructor will require a prerequisite of the Level 3 Personal Trainer Category on

We will keep you updated and let you know as soon as the New Category is ready for you to sign up for.

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This year our South East Convention is taking place on Wednesday 15 May and Thursday 16 May at Raynes Park, David Lloyd in London. Simply follow this link to book your place now.

Entry fee for each day is £45 for REPs members (£60 for non-members) and this includes refreshments and a buffet lunch.

The 2 day Convention is the perfect opportunity to keep on top of your Continued Professional Development this spring and gain valuable CPD points.

Both days, doors open at 9.15am, with sessions starting at 10.00am and concluding at 4.00pm. Both days will also have keynote presentations from some inspiring fitness professionals.



Day 1

  • Keynote presentation on “Weight Loss – What Works, What Doesn't and Why!” Led by Dr Ian Campbell from TV's The Biggest Loser.
  • 12 interactive and informative workshops, including: "Advanced Weightlifting & Functional Training", "Move More - Physical Activity and Cancer" and "Bulgarian Bag Training".

Day 2

  • Keynote presentation on "Great Trainers: Born or Made?" from Fred Hoffman, author of “Going Global: An Expert’s Guide to Working Abroad in the Fitness Industry”.
  • Another 12 great workshops including: "Metabolic Training using Ropes and Bands", "Dynamax Med Balls" and "Integrated Bodyweight Training".

We really hope that you can make it as we’re sure that it’s going to be an informative and fun-filled couple of days!

For more information on what’s on offer follow this link.




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Nichola Curran, Founder and Director of Evolve Leisure, speaks about how the introduction of new Health and Wellbeing Boards will benefit public health and offer a great opportunity for fitness professionals.


There is a big shake-up on its way concerning public health. From April 1st onwards, new Health and Wellbeing Boards are being introduced with ring fenced health budgets for local communities. Their aim will be to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities and reduce health inequalities.

This new approach to public health offers a great opportunity for fitness professionals who are qualified to offer exercise referral. As we all know exercise can do wonders for our health and wellbeing and the introduction of these new boards gives us a great opportunity to really become part of the conversation. We in the fitness industry need to open up to the idea of engaging with local government and GPs. This way, we can really shape the health and wellbeing agenda.

The Health and Wellbeing Boards are very much up for meeting and engaging with the public. They have a duty to meet their targets to improve local health outcomes. If fitness professionals can successfully prove the importance and effectiveness of exercise then there is a real chance that partnerships can be forged.

We in the exercise profession understand the benefits of exercise. However there is often a lack of understanding, amongst both the public and the medical profession regarding just how effective exercise can be in treating a range of ailments. For example, exercise can help combat diabetes, obesity, depression, stress, arthritis, high blood pressure…the list goes on.

Exercise can often be just as good as prescribed medicine in battling a range of health issues. As we know, prevention is often better than cure, so make sure to look out for ways in which you can engage with your local Health and Wellbeing Board. Its important to remember that we as fitness professionals are well placed to offer advice which can improve the health of our nation whilst potentially saving the NHS money.

Nichola Curran will be at the REPs South East Convention on both days and will be speaking more about this subject. To see Nichola and a whole host of other speakers, book your place now!

Also, to view Nichola’s webinar on the changes taking place, follow this link


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Over 40% of us regularly take at least one vitamin or mineral supplement, but do they really improve our health, or are they just money down the drain? Matt Lovell, performance nutritionist and Ambassador for Kinetica Sports explains.

Matt Lovell

In an ideal world people would follow a regime of regular exercise and healthy eating, such as a fully varied and nutritious diet. There then wouldn’t be a need for additional vitamins and dietary supplements (e.g. protein drinks). However, we all know that time pressure, combined with modern food choices and farming methods has reduced the range of nutrients available to us.

Supplements can help provide convenience and make up for short falls in our diets. If diet alone was adequate then we wouldn’t have a large percentage of the population showing deficiencies in certain nutrients, such as omega 3 fats, b-vitamins and things like vitamin D.

Statistically, people are buying more supplements and this is both good and bad. It’s good as people might be more health aware but it is bad if they are using them instead of a varied diet. Advertising probably has a lot to do with it, as do diet programmes which rely overtly on shakes as meal replacements.

In the real world people are simply not eating appropriately. This is due to an over emphasis on omega 6 fats, a generally inadequate level of proteins and omega 3 fatty acids, combined with excess grain consumption and severely restricted vegetable and fruit consumption. B-vitamins are also hugely lacking in people’s diets, along with magnesium and other essential minerals.

It should be noted that if you supplement regularly it is advisable to get your bloods checked from a medical professional.

Also, make sure to look out for brands with a pharmaceutical grade, they should follow GMP manufacturing standards, drug screening and use quality forms of ingredients – e.g. no fillers or binders. They should also keep to bioavailable forms of minerals and vitamins – using the enzyme activated forms where possible.

Therefore, if you are going to use supplements make sure you do your research and also ensure that you follow a healthy, balanced and varied diet plan.

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There seems to be a fear amongst women that lifting heavy weights will cause them to bulk up and leave them with unwanted muscles.

Amanda Khouv from Women’s Fitness recently outlined six good reasons as to why the ladies out there should be lifting heavier weights. Her number one reason for lifting weights is that it prolongs your life. She explains that the essential muscle mass which you build when lifting heavier weights can play an important role in reducing blood pressure, tackling obesity and reducing the risk of developing diabetes.

The article also outlines that although maintaining a healthy diet is important, adding heavy weight training will also help to fight off toxins from pollution, stress and alcohol. Your bones and muscles store minerals which support your immune system and weight training keeps these cell spaces healthy.

liftingStrength training plays an important role in weight loss. Research shows adding strength training to a calorie restriction program (diet) results in maintenance of weight loss (DL Ballor, et al 1988). Gary R. Hunter, et al (2000), who also conducted research in this area state that performing strength training and gaining muscle you will burn more calories while resting as strength training increases your metabolism.

The table below gives you a guide to how many sets and how many reps you should be performing depending on your exercise goal.

Training goal



Rest period

General health and fitness




Maximal strength








Hypertrophy (muscle size)




Muscular endurance

12 +



Baechle, T., Earle, R. (2008)

In addition Science Daily has also made clear that despite decades of doctors' reluctance to recommend weight training to pregnant women, a new University of Georgia study has found that a supervised, low-to-moderate intensity program is safe and beneficial. A recent keen advocate of weight training when pregnant is Nell McAndrew who is expecting her second child.

If you would like to read any of the mentioned articles in full please see the reference list below:

Baechle, T., Earle, R. (2008) Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. National Strength and Conditioning Association 406-408.

DL Ballor, VL Katch, MD Becque and CR Marks. (1988) Resistance weight training during caloric restriction enhances lean body weight maintenance.  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (47), 19-25.

Gary R. Hunter, Carla J. Wetzstein, David A. Fields, Amanda Brown, and Marcas M. Bamman. (2000) Resistance training increases total energy expenditure and free-living physical activity in older adults. Journal of Applied Physiology (89), 977-984.

Patrick J. O'Connor, Melanie S. Poudevigne, M. Elaine Cress, Robert W. Motl, James F. Clapp, III. Safety and Efficacy of Supervised Strength Training Adopted in Pregnancy. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, Volume 8, Issue 3, March

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According to medical experts February 18 was the sickest day of the year due to increased socialising, following January detoxification and Valentines celebrations. This leads us to ask: should being sick put you off training, or should you power through?

There are of course arguments both for and against. Exercising is after all good for you and often getting up, and out of the house is better than staying cooped up in bed. However, others would argue that being sick is your body’s way of telling you to slow down and you should therefore take the opportunity to rest.

An article on The Huffington Post recently weighed up the pros and cons of exercising whilst feeling ill.

On the whole it argued that exercising whilst ill was the right approach, providing that you kept the intensity low to medium.

However it did outline the following Do Nots:

  • Do NOT exercise if you have a fever.
  • Do NOT work out at the gym whilst you're contagious.
  • Do NOT give up altogether.
  • Do NOT immediately try to make up for lost time.

Ultimately, is up to the individual, everyone is different and if you are unsure of your symptoms you should of course consult your GP.

What are your thoughts, do you power through or do you indulge in some R&R?

To read the full Huffington Post article follow this link:

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Skills for Care, in partnership with Skills Active, have commissioned research in order to develop an understanding of the benefits and practicalities of developing a shared workforce development programme. The research aims to explore the opportunities that may be available for greater dialogue and collaboration between social care employers and employers within the sport and fitness sectors. The research also aims to identify existing examples of sport and fitness providers/professionals engaging with social care providers and commissioners in order to deliver activities for adults in receipt of social care.

The research team is keen to speak to REP members that are either exploring opportunities to engage with the social care sector or who are already delivering services to adults in receipt of social care. Interested members should contact the research team manager Andy Parkinson on 07713 357386 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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WIN a FREE Polar Heart Rate Monitor!

This annual survey is an informative resource, which:

- Has shaped many recent changes and improvements to the Register

- Enables us to learn about your experience of joining REPs and the services you use and value

- Allows us to review our offering, highlighting any aspects of the Register that require attention.

In order for us to get a full picture, it really is crucial that we gain feedback from as many members as possible.

This survey should only take 15 minutes and will be conducted independently to guarantee anonymity.


Survey closes on Friday 15th March.

Please note: All results will be treated confidentially in accordance with the Market Research Society Code of Conduct. SkillsActive will report the aggregated results to REPs, and no individual responses will be identified in the report. We may contact some, but not all, of those that tick the box stating they would like to be contacted.


Enter your email address at the end of the survey to be in with the chance of winning a Polar FT80 Heart Rate Monitor. The lucky winner will be selected at random and contacted directly!

Prize draw terms and conditions

  1. The closing date for prize draw entry is Friday 15th March 2013.
  2. The email address supplied will only be used to contact the winner.
  3. The winner of the prize draw will be randomly drawn on Monday 18th March 2013 and the winner will be notified by email within six weeks.
  4. Permission may be sought from the winner to have their name published in marketing material – however, there is no obligation.
  5. There is no cash alternative.
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Food and farming charity Sustain is calling for a new tax on sugary drinks with the proceeds going towards child health.

soft drink

In a pre-budget report, the charity claims that the government could raise £1billion a year from a 20p a litre rise in tax on high-sugar drinks. It suggests this extra revenue could be used to pay for free school meals and initiatives encouraging children to eat more fruit and vegetables.

According to the report, the levy would also help save lives by cutting consumption of sugar-laden drinks, which has been backed by more than 60 organisations including the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Friends of the Earth, the National Heart forum and the Royal Society for Public Health.

Sustain’s Campaign Manager Charlie Powell, said: "Sugar-laden drinks are mini health time bombs, contributing to dental diseases, obesity and a host of life-threatening illnesses which cost the NHS billions each year.

"We are delighted that so many organisations want to challenge the government to show it has a public health backbone, by including a sugary drinks duty in budget 2013.

"It's a simple and easy-to-understand measure which will help save lives by reducing sugar in our diets and raising much-needed money to protect children's health."

The chairman of Sustain, Mike Rayner, of Oxford University's department of public health, added: "Just as we use fiscal measures to discourage drinking and smoking and help prevent people from dying early, there is now lots of evidence that the same approach would work for food.

"Our obesity epidemic causes debilitating illness, life-threatening diseases and misery for millions of people. It is high time government did something effective about this problem."

Follow this link for more information.

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