RCPCH responds to Government announcement regarding junk food advertising

Our Officer for Health Improvement, Dr Max Davie, responds to the Government’s announcement that it will ban junk food advertising online and before 9pm on TV from 2023.

Dr Max Davie, Officer for Health Improvement of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said:

We strongly welcome the announcement from Government that it will introduce a 9pm TV watershed for junk food advertising and a complete ban online.

We have epidemic levels of child obesity across the UK and given the far-reaching health effects of obesity, we are storing up huge problems for children and young people. This policy, as part of the wider obesity strategy announced last year, will help to address this.

Nearly one in four children in the UK are overweight by age five. It’s also a levelling up issue; across each of the four UK nations, children living in the most deprived areas are up to four times more likely to be severely obese than those living in the least deprived areas.

In State of Child Health 2020, we called on the UK Government to introduce this policy in each of the four UK nation reports, as broadcast media remains a reserved policy matter.

We all have a role to play in addressing this and it is right that the food industry is being held to account.