UK To Ban Junk Food Advertising Online And Before 9pm By 2023
Junk food ads will be banned before 9 pm on TV, but loopholes will allow brands to continue to advertise online, under new rules announced by the government.
The ban, to come into force at the end of 2022 as part of a drive to cut child obesity, will outlaw daytime and early-evening TV slots for foods high in fat, salt, and sugar and bar paid-for advertising on the internet.
Online advertising will also be cracked down on as part of Boris Johnson’s plans to tackle obesity.
Public health minister Jo Churchill said:
We are committed to improving the health of our children and tackling obesity. The content youngsters see can have an impact on the choices they make and the habits they form. With children spending more time online it is vital we act to protect them from unhealthy advertising. These measures form another key part of our strategy to get the nation fitter and healthier by giving them the chance to make more informed decisions when it comes to food. We need to take urgent action to level up health inequalities. This action on advertising will help to wipe billions off the national calorie count and give our children a fair chance of a healthy lifestyle.
The restrictions however will stop short of the total ban which was proposed last year.
Fast food and confectionery giants will be banned from advertising products high in fat, sugar, and salt online, but there will be an exception for small businesses which hire 249 employees or fewer.
The new plans will be brought in from April 2022, with promotions on high fat, salt, and sugar food and drinks also set to be restricted in retailers.
Obesity is considered a risk factor in people falling very ill with coronavirus, as well as other health issues including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and several types of cancer.