Regarding the publication of the HSC Committee report into childhood obesity Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive of the Advertising Association, commented:

“We note the recommendations of the Health and Social Care Select Committee’s report into childhood obesity. We remain of the view that measures such as a 9pm watershed would be ineffective in tackling the complex root causes of childhood obesity which are linked to a whole range of factors, including socio-economic background, ethnicity and educational attainment.

“We in the UK already have among the strictest rules in the world on HFSS advertising to under 16s. They limit considerably the exposure of children to these adverts in any medium – whether on TV, at the cinema, outdoor, on radio, in print or online. As such, there has been a dramatic fall in children’s exposure to HFSS adverts but this has had no effect on obesity levels.

“It is important to note that we in the advertising industry are not complacent to the public health problem that exists, or the role we can play in helping to tackle it. One recent, powerful example is ITV’s sponsorship of The Daily Mile, which is a proven, proactive measure to address childhood obesity through getting kids active.

“We continue to believe that all action will be most effective when it is proportionate, evidence-based and effectively targeted where the problem of childhood obesity is most prevalent. The advertising industry is open to discussing the ways it can best help Government achieve its goals of addressing this issue, which is a serious challenge for the UK as it is many other countries across the globe.”

For more information or comment, contact the AA on: +44 (0) 20 7340 1100