February 27, 2007/Press Association -- The Prince of Wales criticised a leading fast food chain today as he attended the launch of a public health awareness campaign aimed at fighting diabetes in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

As Charles toured the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre in Abu Dhabi and was told about new initiatives to improve the nation's diet and fitness levels, he appeared to suggest to a nutritionist that banning McDonald's was the "key."

The Prince, who visited the centre with the Duchess of Cornwall, is a keen advocate of organic food and in 1986 set up a farm on his Highgrove Estate that does not use artificial pesticides or fertilisers.

The royal couple watched as a group of young children chose from a selection of "good" and "bad" snacks for their school packed lunch boxes.

Encouraging pupils to eat sensibly is one of the initiatives of the campaign -- Diabetes Knowledge Action -- and it is hoped UAE youngsters will pass their healthy eating habits on to their families.

When all the children picked up the bottles of water and tiny bags containing fruit and vegetables but left behind the chocolate and crisps, Camilla and Charles laughed.

The Prince then chatted to nutritionist Nadine Tayara from the centre, who had put the children through their paces, and asked her: "Have you got anywhere with McDonald's, have you tried getting it banned? That's the key."

The UAE has the second highest prevalence of diabetes in the world with more than 20% of those aged 20 to 79 already diagnosed with the illness, while 40% of the population are prone to the disease.
From the March 13, 2007, Prepared Foods e-Flash