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Diabetes UK disappointment at junk food decision

The advertising standards agency, Ofcom, have announced that they will only restrict junk food advertising during programmes aimed at under-16-year-olds.

Diabetes UK, along with other health charities like the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK, are extremely disappointed with this decision. A 9pm watershed on all unhealthy food TV advertising was called for.

“It is extremely irresponsible to ignore overwhelming public opinion and have so little regard for the future health of our children," said Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK.

"If these are the standards Ofcom apply, then they are not fit to make a decision on when and what junk is peddled to children via the TV.

"Let’s hope the Government takes urgent action and has the courage to put health before profit . A 9pm watershed should be introduced immediately which includes a ban on junk food brand advertising."

Being overweight greatly increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, which can lead to blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke and amputations. A sensible approach to junk food advertising is one area where a real difference can be made.

Rising levels of obesity in children due to poor diet and lack of physical activity have led to children being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, once a condition of the over 40s. It is now estimated that well over a 1,000 children have the condition in the UK.

According to figures recently published by the Department of Health in its 'Forecasting Obesity to 2010' report, more than 12 million adults and one million children in England will be obese by 2010.

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