80% Of Adults Back Ban On Junk Food Ads Before 9PM

8 February 2016, 06:00

Four-Fifths of adults in Scotland support a ban on junk food advertising before the 9pm TV watershed, according to a new poll.

The UK survey of more than 1,700 people for Cancer Research UK found 79% north of the border would back a ban while 64% also want a tax on sugary drinks.

More than seven in ten (76%) said there should be cuts to junk food advertising online while 75% want cuts to price promotions on junk food, such as buy-one-get-one-free deals.

Meanwhile, 88% of those polled said they thought childhood obesity was a problem.

It comes after a poll for Diabetes UK last week found 75% of adults want food manufacturers to reduce the amount of saturated fat, salt and added sugar in their products.

The Government is due to publish its strategy for tackling childhood obesity in the next few weeks.

It has so far resisted calls for a tax on sugary drinks - as called for by campaigners including celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

Current estimates for school-age children are that 14.7% of all their calorie intake is made up of sugar.

The main sources of sugar include soft drinks, table sugar, confectionery, fruit juice, biscuits, buns, cakes, pastries and puddings and breakfast cereals.

Soft drinks (excluding fruit juice) are the largest single source of sugar for children aged 11 to 18. They provide 29% of daily sugar intake, on average, for this age group.

A third of children in Scotland are overweight or obese.

Obesity causes some types of cancer, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK's expert in cancer prevention based at the University of Stirling said: "In Scotland we joke about our nation's 'sweet tooth' but it is no laughing matter when this contributes to people being overweight or obese and at higher risk of some cancers.

''Junk foods high in sugar and fat are everywhere in Scotland and adverts for these foods tempt children with pretty colours and cartoons.''

''At a time when junk food is cheap and packed with extra calories, we need stronger action to help prevent children from choosing these foods.''

''We want the Government to ban junk food adverts on TV before the 9pm watershed, put a tax on sugary drinks and enforce targets for reducing the amount of fat and sugar in food.

''Reducing obesity rates could save the NHS billions of pounds. And, ultimately, we owe it to future generations to reduce preventable disease caused by being overweight and obese.''