Call to ban fast food ads on TV, billboards and social networks before 9am to fight obesity


Junk food ads should be banned from digital billboards, social media and television until after 9 pm to protect children, health advocates say.

The Obesity Health Alliance (OHA) says the measure is "desperately needed" to combat growing childhood obesity.

OHA said that existing bans – which prevent broadcasters from displaying fast food ads on children's TV, but do not show that children watch as well – are not enough.

Under current laws, gaps mean that unhealthy high-fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) food ads can be shown before 9 pm during commercial breaks for shows such as X Factor, Britain's Got Talent or live sports, which are popular with a younger audience. .

Likewise, junk food ads can not be added to child-specific sites, but can be seen on social media sites, apps, and pages where children log on because their interests often overlap with adults.

Under current regulations, HFSS product announcements should not be directed to children, and no means should be used to advertise these products if more than 25% of your audience is under the age of 16.

However, OHA said the rules do not cover the "wide range of channels and channels by which children consume media by 2019."

OHA wants a total ban on junk food ads being shown or seen before 9pm.

Activists want to ban fast food advertising on billboards before 9 pm

Dr Emma Boyland, a professor at the University of Liverpool, said: "Research has repeatedly shown that exposure to unhealthy food advertising has a negative impact on children's diets.

"In addition, we know that overweight or obese children are more vulnerable to the influence of advertising, leading them to ingest more calories than healthy children when they see junk food ads.

"An update of the regulations is desperately needed."

A survey by YouGov made this month indicates that the public would support the measure, with 69% stating that fast food marketing contributes to childhood obesity. About 72 percent advocate banning unhealthy food advertising during family TV shows, with 70 percent agreeing that junk food ads should not be shown before 9 pm. The ban on pre-watershed ads on external posters or bus posters was supported by 68%.

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Should junk food ads be banned before 9:00 pm to protect children?

OHA leader Caroline Cerny said: "With more than two-thirds of the public agreeing with the evidence, that junk food advertising contributes to childhood obesity, it is clear that urgent action is necessary and necessary. government needs to address ads on a wide variety of media channels, both inside and outside the home.

"A watershed of advertisements of all kinds is the clearest and most effective way to ensure that advertising revenue can not simply be shifted to other types of media by protecting children from junk food advertising damages wherever they may be. "

A government spokeswoman said: "We know that childhood obesity is one of the biggest health problems this country faces and a key part of our plans to halve by 2030 is to reduce children's exposure to fatty and sugary foods.

"That's why our next advertising query will consider additional advertising restrictions for these products on TV and online.

"Preventing life shortening conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease is at the heart of our long-term plan for the NHS."


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