New rules on junk food ads

The government’s latest initiative in their drive to reduce rates of obesity in the UK was announced earlier this week.

From the end of 2022 there will be a ban on advertising of foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) between 5.30 am and 9 pm. This will apply to advertising on TV and on demand channels as well as restrictions to online advertising.

The government wants to stop children creating long term unhealthy eating habits that may form when they are exposed to HFSS food advertising on TV and online. Government analysis showed that nearly half of adverts shown during one month were for HFSS foods, between 6 pm and 9 pm this increased to 60%.  Research has shown that these adverts do have an impact on when and what children eat and this can lead to an excess of calories being consumed leading to overweight and obesity.

The Department for Health and Social Care declared that this initiative will remove 7 billion calories from the nation's diet each year. By reducing exposure to unhealthy foods the aim is to have an impact on the choices we make and therefore improve the health of the population.  

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