Coca-Cola's announcement of its Christmas truck tour route has prompted health experts to lash out at companies cashing in on Britain's "obesity epidemic".

The drinks giant will be taking its signature red truck around the UK for the seventh year, visiting 42 locations, starting on November 11 in Glasgow and ending in Lakeside, Essex, on December 17.

But in the past, health experts have called for the tour to be banned, and are now saying Coke is seeking to grab the attention of children and young families with its mobile "Holidays are coming" campaign.

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Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, said: "Our nation is in the grip of an obesity epidemic, and sugary drinks are a big part of the problem - they account for 30% of four-to-10-year-olds' daily sugar intake.

"Our children are bombarded year-round with advertising for these products, and at Christmas that pressure is ratcheted up another notch.

"While it's easy for all of us to indulge a little too much over the festive period, we should be able to do so without turning Christmas into a corporate sugar-fest aimed at selling drinks to children."

Malcolm Clark, co-ordinator of the Children's Food Campaign, said: "Coca-Cola starting their tour in Glasgow is trolling of the highest order. Glasgow's rates of obesity and dental decay are far higher than the UK average.

"Moreover, the Scottish Government has just launched a consultation on new actions it could take to reduce obesity, recognising that companies' voluntary efforts will never go far enough.

"Coca-Cola should start acting more responsibly. For instance, it could pledge to ensure that its low and no sugar colas are priced cheaper on the shelf and in promotions than the full sugar Coke, especially after the sugary drinks tax comes in next April."

Kawther Hashem, a registered nutritionist at the charity Action on Sugar, said the purpose of the tour had to be considered.

She said: "I think one element is: what is the purpose of the truck going to city centres? The purpose is just the promotion of Coke.

"Coke say they do not market towards children and young families.

"But actually, if you are going to drive a truck into a city centre at Christmas, the you are actually exposing all those individuals - children and young families - to that."

She added that while it was not her place to say whether the tour should be banned, if the truck did have to tour, the very least it could do was hand sugar-free versions of the drink, and not be in the colours of the Coca-Cola with the highest sugar content.

A can of Coca-Cola Classic contains around seven teaspoons of sugar, according to information on the Coca-Cola website.

A Coca-Cola spokesman said it will be offering a range of drinks so people can make their own choices about what drink they want.

In a statement regarding sugar in Coca-Cola and healthy choices, he added: "We believe in listening to and responding to our consumers.

"That's why for people who want to consume less sugar or calories we also offer a variety of great-tasting drinks with reduced, low or no sugar and calories, such as Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, which launched in July 2016 and looks and tastes more like Coke Classic but with no sugar.

"We also offer many of our drinks in a range of sizes.

"We provide information on how much sugar and how many calories are in our beverages, making the choice easier and clearer so people can choose what makes sense for them and their families."