Call for a 9pm watershed to protect children from junk food marketing
The Obesity Health Alliance is calling for a 9pm watershed to protect children from junk food marketing plus a ban on brands associated with junk food products sponsoring programmes popular with children.
6 in 10 food adverts during family TV shows push junk food, new study reveals. In the worst case, children were exposed to nine junk food adverts in just 30 minutes.
A new report from the Obesity Health Alliance highlights how nearly 60% of the food adverts shown during family viewing time are for junk food, while only 1% are for fruit or vegetables. Almost 6 in 10 (59%) food and drinks adverts shown during programmes watched by hundreds of thousands of children every week are for products high in fat, sugar and salt – and in some cases, children can see up to nine junk food adverts in just 30 minutes, according to new analysis published today.
The study conducted by the University of Liverpool analysed adverts shown before and during some of the most popular TV programmes on ITV, Channel 4 and E4 between 6pm-9pm (when the number of children watching TV peaks). The Voice, Ninja Warriors, The Simpsons, Coronation Street and Hollyoaks were chosen due to the high numbers of children watching them. Researchers used official Government guidelines to assess whether the advert would have been allowed to be shown during children’s programming (where a ban on advertising junk food is currently in place).
The study found:
- The majority (59%) of food and drink adverts would be banned from kids’ TV
- In the worst example, children were being bombarded with nine junk food adverts in just 30 minutes
- Adverts for fast food and takeaways were shown over twice as often as any other type of food and drinks advert
- Adverts for fruit and vegetables made up just over 1% of the food and drinks adverts shown during family viewing time
HENRY is a member of the Obesity Health Alliance, a coalition of over 40 health charities, medical royal colleges and campaign groups.