RCPCH responds to OHA calls to protect children from all junk food advertising

A new survey by the Obesity Health Alliance has revealed clear support among the UK public for far-reaching restrictions on junk food adverts, coinciding with the publication of a new position statement from the Alliance. Dr Max Davie, RCPCH Officer for Health Improvement, responds.

In a new position statement from the 44-strong alliance of health charities, medical royal colleges and campaign groups, the Obesity Health Alliance calls for a 9pm watershed on junk food adverts.

They want to this watershed see implemented across all media devices and channels. This would include junk food adverts on live TV, TV on demand, radio, all types of online, social media, apps, in-game, cinema and digital outdoor advertising such as billboards. An online poll has revealed that the public also support these measures.

Responding to these calls, Dr Max Davie, Officer for Health Improvement for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) said:

This poll clearly shows how much the public supports a ban on junk food advertising before 9pm, and we urge the government to implement this ban as soon as possible across all media, including online channels. Children can be easily influenced, and the evidence tells us that junk food advertising can heavily impact what children want to eat and drink.

Obese children are much more likely to become obese adults, at risk of premature death and significant health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Restricting junk food advertising until after the 9pm watershed will help to protect our children’s health and go some way to controlling the UK’s spiralling levels of childhood obesity.