To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate his Department has made of the number of children viewing advertisements featuring products high in fat, salt or sugar on television; and whether that estimated figure has changed since 2013.
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate his Department has made of the quantum of difference in the number of children viewing advertisements for products high in fat, salt or sugar on (a) broadcast and (b) online media.
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.
As part of this ongoing process, in August 2017 we announced a £5 million investment in a policy research unit on childhood obesity to provide a robust evidence, evaluation and research capability including looking at the impact of marketing on childhood obesity. The unit is undertaking a large programme of work and we will consider the results in due course.
In 2016 we published a world-leading plan to tackle childhood obesity based on the best evidence. We have made significant progress and now want to build on those strong foundations. We will be publishing a second chapter of the Childhood Obesity Plan in due course.
A review of advertising restrictions for products and brands high in fat, salt or sugar, was published by Ofcom in 2010 and included a detailed assessment of effects on commercial public service broadcasters and commercial channels.
The UK currently places strong restrictions on high fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) products. Strict new rules came into effect in July 2017 banning the advertising of HFSS food or drink products in children’s media. These restrictions apply across all non-broadcast media including in print, cinema, online and in social media and are designed to compliment similar measures already in place for broadcast media.