Christopher Snowdon responds to reported government obesity strategy
“It is disappointing to see Boris Johnson resurrecting Theresa May’s nanny state policies on food. The economy is on its knees, commercial television is in crisis, the advertising industry is making mass redundancies, and yet the government wants to make it more difficult for businesses to reach their customers.
“It is misleading to claim that the proposed bans would only affect ‘junk food’. They would apply to any so-called HFSS food (high in fat, sugar or salt). This includes raisins, sultanas, soy sauce, mustard, honey, jam, yoghurts, tinned fruit, mayonnaise, butter, olive oil and many other products that no reasonable person would consider to be unhealthy.
“An advertising ban is expected to cost TV companies £200 million a year. This cost will be passed on to viewers through poorer programming and fewer channels.
“And for what? The amount of TV advertising for HFSS food seen by children has fallen by more than two-thirds in the last fifteen years. If advertising was the problem, rates of childhood obesity should have declined. They haven’t. There is no reason to expect that further restrictions will make any difference.”
Notes to editors
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