Banning Junk Food Adverts

Posted by JOrchard on 17 May, 2016

The UK advertising watchdog has begun a consultation that could see tougher restrictions in the future when advertising junk food to children.

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The Committee of Advertising Practise (CAP) is responsible for writing the rules of UK advertising and although you may not be aware of it, there is currently a ban on junk food TV adverts for all children’s programming. But this new consultation could seen the ban extended to all media, including online outlets.

The announcement has come after a new study, which was published last week, showed that eating junk food causes similar kidney damage as type 2 diabetes damage. 

A diet which contains a large amount of junk food increases the risk of obesity, which has a significant relationship with type 2 diabetes. The governments introduction of sugar tax was designed to tackle obesity in the younger generation and their full childhood obesity strategy is expected later this year.

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The CAP is exploring restriction on the promotion of foods which are high in fats, salt and sugar to anyone who is under the age of 16. Currently, junk food can be advertised to children in non-broadcast media.

Chairman of the CAP, James Best, had this to say: "Too many children in the UK are growing up overweight or even obese, potentially damaging their health in later life and imposing a high cost on society. 

"Advertising is just one small factor in a very complex equation but we believe we can play a positive part in addressing an urgent societal challenge. In proposing new rules, our aim is to strike the right balance between protecting children and enabling businesses to continue advertising their products responsibly.”

The new proposed rules could ban the use of licensed characters and celebrities who to promote junk food,and instead look at allowing them to advertise healthier foods for children.

The CAP released a statement saying: "Available evidence shows that advertising has a modest effect on children's food preferences, but other factors like parental influence, opportunities for physical exercise, education etc, play greater roles in the causes of and solutions to childhood obesity,"

"However, CAP believes even a relatively small positive impact from new advertising restrictions could make a meaningful contribution to tackling this important health issue."

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