Food: Advertising

Health written question – answered on 21st March 2007.

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Photo of Helen Goodman Helen Goodman Labour, Bishop Auckland

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) what criteria the Government will use to assess whether the change in the nature and balance of food advertising to children has altered enough to avoid legislation, as set out in the 2004 Choosing Health White Paper; and when she expects that assessment to be published;

(2) what data the Government hold on the change in the number of advertisements for foods high in fat, salt and sugar seen by children at all times of the day since 2003.

Photo of Caroline Flint Caroline Flint Minister of State (Department of Health) (Public Health)

Following Choosing Health, the Government will be assessing whether the new measures introduced in broadcast and non-broadcast media have brought about a real change in the nature and balance of food promotion. An interim review will be conducted in autumn 2007, and we will work with Ofcom and our industry partners on a more detailed review in 2008. On that basis, the Government will decide whether further action, such as legislation, is required.

The Department has commissioned Thompson Intermedia to collect and analyse impact and expenditure data across a broad range of media. This is an ongoing process and the information that we collect will be used to inform the interim review. We are keen to see what measures the food and drink and advertising sectors are taking on a voluntary basis to effect a change in the nature and balance of high fat, salt and sugar product advertising before, and in response to, the interim review.

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