UK restricts junk food advertising on TV

(London) The British government announced Thursday that it will tighten up the advertising of junk food on television and on the internet to fight childhood obesity.

From the end of 2022, television advertisements for foods or drinks high in fat, sugars and salt will no longer be allowed until between 9 p.m. and 5:30 a.m.

Restrictions will also apply to on-demand TV programs as well as paid internet advertising.

They « will help prevent children from developing long-term unhealthy eating habits and improve the health of the nation, » the government said in a statement.

He estimated that they would reduce the number of obese children by over 20,000 over the next few years, as one in three children drop out of primary school overweight or obese, with complications costing $ 6 billion. pounds (C $ 10.2 billion) per year to the public health service.

These measures, decided following a public consultation, will apply to all companies with at least 250 employees who produce or sell these foods.

The promotion of products considered healthy, such as honey or olive oil, will remain authorized, as well as that, online, on the sites and accounts of social networks of the brands.

According to an analysis conducted in September 2019 with several television channels, cited by the government, 47.6% of all food advertisements were for foods high in sugars, fats or salt, and up to nearly 60% between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. h, when the family is often gathered in front of the television.

The high level of obesity in the United Kingdom is one of the reasons given to explain the heavy toll of the coronavirus pandemic (128,000 dead). Boris Johnson’s government, who has personally dieted and exercised after suffering a severe form of COVID-19, has pledged to tackle the issue.

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