Junk food ad ban plan

29 June 2021
After the successful work of children’s health campaigners, the Government is restricting unhealthy food adverts on TV and online.

Following the inclusion of plans to restrict unhealthy food adverts in the Queen’s Speech, the Government has now announced the details of its policy plans.

With an obesity strategy that aims to halve childhood obesity by 2030, the Government wants to ensure that ‘the media our children engage with the most promotes a healthy diet.’ This is reassuring since we know the excessive amount of junk food ads children are exposed to, not least thanks to work by our friends at Bite Back 2030.

The restrictions will come into force at the end of 2022 and will apply to TV advertising (including on-demand services) between 05:30 and 21:00 as well as paid-for ads online at all times. They will include foods that are high in fat, salt and/or sugar (HFSS), although some foods such as honey and olive oil will be excluded as they are not thought to significantly contribute to childhood obesity.

Products in the scope of the ban will be defined using the 2004 to 2005 Nutrient Profile Model, as this will also be referred to in other parts of the Government’s work on obesity. OFCOM will be appointed as the regulator for HFSS advertising.

Full details of the announcement can be found here.