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Junk food TV advertising

Published: 21 Aug 2016 00:01

Restrictions missing from UK obesity strategy.

A new UK obesity strategy is a missed opportunity to protect children from exposure to junk food advertising, says Public Health and Sport Minister Aileen Campbell.

Ms Campbell has written to her UK Government counterpart Nicola Blackwood MP to express disappointment that the measure was not adopted when the strategy was published last week.

Broadcasting is currently reserved to Westminster but Scottish ministers have consistently called for the step to be introduced. The minister asked Ms Blackwood to reconsider her position, or to devolve the policy to the Scottish Parliament.

Ms Campbell said:

"I am surprised and disappointed that further restrictions on junk food advertising have not been included in the UK Government's childhood obesity strategy. The strategy is much less ambitious than we had previously hoped.

"We have long argued that a ban up to the 9pm watershed would greatly reduce children's exposure to the marketing of unhealthy foods.

"This is a measure that is backed up by recommendations from both Public Health England and Food Standards Scotland, and has the backing of the Welsh and Northern Irish Governments.

"I am therefore calling on the UK Government to rethink its position on this policy, or failing that devolve these powers to the Scottish Parliament so we can take appropriate steps to benefit Scotland's public health."