Scots Parents Back Junk Food Ad Ban

26 March 2015, 06:00

More than 30,000 people have signed a petition to ban junk food adverts before 9pm watershed.

The British Heart Foundation delivered the petition, to ban the adverts before 9pm, to Downing Street.

The BHF found 58% of parents in Scotland believe that stopping children being exposed to junk food adverts could help towards tackling the obesity crisis in children.

Seven in ten (71%) Scots parents feel the UK Government should introduce stricter regulations on the food industry to better control how junk food is advertised to children.

Well over half (56%) say that adverts promoting foods that are high in saturated fat, salt and sugar affect what their children want to eat. More than half (52%) say junk food adverts make it harder for them to say no to their children or to get them to eat healthily.

Around 30% of children in Scotland are overweight or obese, increasing their risk of being overweight and of developing coronary heart disease in later life.(2) Research by The Food Standards Agency has found that TV marketing of food and drink products can influence children's food preferences.

Yet loopholes in the UK regulatory system mean that junk food adverts which are banned during children's programming can still be shown during family programming, such as X-Factor, when children's TV viewing peaks.

Mike Hobday, Director of Policy at the BHF, said: "Junk food companies are exploiting legal loopholes in the regulatory system, allowing them to continue bombarding children with junk food adverts.

"Over 30,000 people have backed our campaign to ban these adverts before the 9pm watershed.

"By protecting young people against the sophisticated marketing techniques of junk food advertisers we can help tackle the obesity crisis which threatens the heart health of future generations.

"We urge the UK Government to heed the public's clear call and take immediate action."