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Food: Advertising

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL6877, tabled on 16 April 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to reduce the advertising of unhealthy foods to children (1) online, and (2) on television.

Answered on

26 April 2018

There is a clear need to address childhood obesity on health and social justice grounds and this government is committed to tackling the issue and supporting people in making healthy choices.

The UK currently places strong restrictions on the advertising of foods high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) in media. New rules came into effect in July 2017 banning the advertising of HFSS food or drink products in children’s media. These restrictions complement similar measures already in place for broadcast media where advertising of HFSS products is prohibited, during, before and after programmes directed to or likely to appeal to children. This is in addition to rules that apply across broadcast media that adverts must not be used to condone or encourage poor nutritional habits or unhealthy lifestyles in children, prohibiting for example the use of character/celebrity endorsements.

The Secretary of State has regular discussions with his ministers and Cabinet colleagues on a number of issues pertaining to broadcasting, including advertising regulation, and our public health priorities are kept under review as we remain committed to ensuring that the UK has a robust approach.