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Last Updated: Tuesday February 15 2005 15:06 GMT

Children get sweet shop clampdown

Girl eating sweets
Kids who eat too many sweets are being told exactly how many they are allowed to buy by a shop owner.

Parents of sweet-toothed children buy a ration book from the shop, which the kids have to get stamped every time they buy themselves a sugary treat.

The ration book scheme started when a parent asked the owner to stop selling her son so many sweets.

"It's been fantastic," said London shop owner Kitty Hope. It's hoped the scheme will help stop kids getting too fat.

Ration books first started during the war when people were only allowed a limited amount of foods like sugar and meat, because there were huge shortages of food.

Miss Hope, who owns the Hope and Greenwood sweet shop in East London with her husband Mark Greenwood, said the ration books were a huge success.


The sweet ration books
"Parents buy them a book worth 5 or 10 but they can't spend it all in one go," she added. "I love the fact that the kids really take it seriously.

"They're not allowed to break it, absolutely not, no way. Not unless a parent is with them or they have extra cash."

And local kids don't seem to mind either. Adila, 13 said: "I don't worry about how many sweets I eat but my mum does. They're definitely a good idea - I've used them before and they help you save money when you want sweets."

Philip, 14, added: " I think it's a good idea because it will cut down on your fatness and you can have nice teeth when you are older."

The shop is based on an old-fashioned 1950s sweet shop and sells traditional treats like gobstoppers and liquorice laces.

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