Regarding the announcement of the UK Government’s plans for a consultation to tackle childhood obesity, the Advertising Association’s Chief Executive Stephen Woodford has said:

“Our industry is always ready to support evidence-based and proportionate action around advertising that will have a positive and measurable impact on people’s lives.

“UK advertising rules are already among the strictest in the world. They ban the advertising of HFSS (high fat, salt and sugar) food or drink products across all media where under 16s make up more than 25% of the audience. This includes TV, online, in social media, on the street or on public transport. All of these measures mean that there have been dramatic falls over the last decade in the exposure of under 16s to HFSS advertising.

“International experience and independent research has shown advertising bans have little impact on the wider societal issues that drive obesity, which is caused by the interaction of many complex factors and requires a multi-faceted solution. Here in the UK, interventions such as The Daily Mile in schools have been successful as they are simple, cost-free and inclusive and not only impact on obesity levels, but improve behaviour, academic performance and children’s wellbeing. This is exactly the sort of partnership needed to tackle Britain’s obesity challenge and we look forward to engaging further with Government on this hugely important issue.”

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