Calls have been made for families to remove smoothies and replace them with jugs of water for children to drink at meal times.

A leading academic has warned that youngsters should be given only water or milk with their meals and not receive sweet drinks containing high sugar levels that can lead to type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Professor Tom Sanders of London's Kings College, where he is head of diabetes and nutritional sciences, said they are fuelling a rise in the conditions.

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Many parents, whilst aware of the risks from fizzy drinks, wrongly believe that fruit juice is acceptable for their children.

But Prof Sanders said: "We need to reintroduce the habit of people putting a jug of water on the table and drinking water with their food instead of some sort of fruity beverage."