UK Childhood Obesity Fuels Demand for Tougher Ad laws

06 December 2007

LONDON: UK health lobbyists are turning the screw on the UK government as they press for tighter restrictions on 'junk food' advertising to children.

A number of high profile organisations, which include the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK charities, are supporting a private bill seeking a ban on all television commercials for such foods prior to 9pm and "significant restrictions" on other forms of marketing.

Childhood obesity concerns in Britain have already triggered new TV ad regulations, but many health advocates argue they do not go far enough.

Member of Parliament Nigel Griffiths, who has introduced the new bill for debate this week, says: "There is no single solution to childhood obesity but tougher restrictions on the way unhealthy foods are marketed to children are essential.

"If children are not exposed to sophisticated ads for unhealthy foods, parents will find it easier to encourage healthy eating and the whole country will benefit."

But advertising trade body ISBA ripostes, through spokesman Ian Twinn: "Banning advertising will not make children fitter or thinner . . . There are no quick fixes and anyone who advocates one is misleading the public."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff