Peeling back the foil and cracking open the shell of a chocolate egg used to be a joy reserved for the Easter weekend.
But retailers are taking advantage of sweet-toothed Britons by selling chocolate treats months too early, health bosses claim.
The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) said the prominent displays of chocolate eggs in every shop are an ‘unnecessary temptation’ in a nation beset by obesity.
With three weeks to go until Easter Sunday, half of the UK public have already bought and eaten at least one Easter-related chocolate treat, the organisation’s polling suggests.
Critics last night accused the RSPH of nannying the public with its ‘incessant nagging’ and ‘constant scaremongering’ over harmless treats.
But the RSPH pointed out the average Easter egg contains almost three-quarters of an adult’s recommended daily calorie intake.
Chief executive Shirley Cramer said: ‘We recognise that special occasions such as Easter are a time for indulgence and treats.
‘However, it is clear many shops and supermarkets are pushing products way too early – it isn’t uncommon to find Easter eggs on sale in the first week of January.