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The figures show that, while Ofcom had predicted that the restrictions would reduce children’s overall exposure to HFSS advertising by 41%, in fact the reduction falls short of this at 37%, and for older children, the reduction is only 22%. Much of the remaining junk food ads children see fall between 6 and 9pm.
Children’s Food Campaign Coordinator Christine Haigh, said:
“The review shows what we’ve always said: that regulation of food advertising to children is needed to reduce children’s exposure to junk food marketing. However, it also shows that the current regulations don’t go far enough. As we argued when the restrictions were introduced, we need a tougher approach to protecting children from junk food marketing if we are to address the record levels of childhood obesity in this country. The figures show that a 9pm watershed would be a more effective way of protecting children. Meanwhile we know that marketers are finding increasingly clever ways to target children through media such as the internet. If the Coalition Government is serious about protecting children from “excessive commercialisation”, then these loopholes need to be closed urgently.”
For further information and interviews, please contact Christine Haigh on 07870 577934 or Christine@sustainweb.org.