Parents plan to picket Coca-Cola lorry as it visits Scots shopping centres

Coke truck

Holidays aren't coming as parents plan to highlight the damage sugar does to children as the iconic brand visits Scotland 

1st November 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

For many it spells the start of the festive season almost becoming a traditional part of Christmas itself with thousands taking their children to see the iconic sight. 

But trouble is brewing for the very product credited with bringing us Christmas as concerned parents get set to boycott the Coca-Cola lorry as it visits Scottish towns and cities.

Worried about the impact the sugary drink is having on their children, parents across the country have taken to social media to organise protest groups as the 45-metre truck gets set to trundle into locations across the country.  

The truck tours the UK every year handing out free products and giving children the chance to meet Santa.

However one parents' group calling itself the Anti-Sugar Mummies plans to mount flash protests in the west while another, going by the name Sweet Justice will do the same in the east.

They are calling for the manufacturer of Coca Cola to stop promoting sugar at the expense of their children’s health. 

One can of Coke contains 35g of sugar – seven teaspoons – where the UK recommended intake for a child aged 7-10 is 24g.

Anna Stephen, a mother of four, denied she was being a Christmas stooge but was instead holding Coca-Cola to account because “no-one else is.”

She told TFN: “We’re not going to spoil it for the children. But we will be leafleting beside the lorry and telling parents exactly how much sugar is in Coca Cola’s products,” she said.

They have a responsibility to regard our children’s health as highly as we do - Anna Stephen

“Pressure has already led to some Coke products reducing sugar by a third but that was only because of intense pressure.

“That’s why we need to make it known us they have a responsibility to regard our children’s health as highly as we do and to stop poisoning kids with sugar.”     

Stephen said she has the support of “hundreds” who are so concerned by the product’s effect on children’s health that they have been motivated to mount protests alone.

“We’ve had people getting in touch saying they have never protested before but are outraged that Coca Cola is using Christmas to make children unhealthy. It’s outrageous.”

It is not the first time there have been calls for the lorry to be banned. In January, a group of 108 health experts said the tour should be stopped because it promoted unhealthy living to children.

The distinctive red and white liveried lorry, driven by Santa, has already steered straight into trouble down south with one local councillor in Liverpool calling the arrival of the truck a “cynical event.”

A spokesperson for Coca-Cola Great Britain said: “The Coca-Cola Christmas truck tour provides a moment of fun for everyone in the build-up to Christmas and we’ve had a positive response from many people.

“The tour is now in its seventh year and each year we receive hundreds of requests to visit, something that we take into account when creating a route which has a good geographical spread."

The lorry also promotes sugar-free drinks, the company said.

Last week the the Scottish Government outlined plans for a new obesity strategy to help people lose weight, pledging to crack down on the promotion of unhealthy products. 

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