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Advertising to children ban blocked

A bid to restrict the advertising of junk food to children was blocked today. Introduced by Nigel Griffiths MP, the Food Products (Marketing to Children) Bill failed to progress through Parliament this afternoon.

The Bill would have implemented a 9pm watershed on television advertising of foods and drinks high in fat, sugar and salt to children (sometimes referred to as ‘junk food’). Additionally, the ban includes the use of non-broadcast media like the internet, mobile phones and print media to advertise those products to children as well as restrictions on junk food packaging designed to appeal to children.

Encouraging support

“Diabetes UK is pleased that the Private Member’s Bill addresses the subject of childhood obesity", said Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK.

"Although we are disappointed that the Bill failed to progress past the Second Reading today, it is encouraging to see the substantial cross-party support that the Food Products (Marketing to Children) Bill received. We believe that the measures in the Bill are an important part of a range of interventions that are needed to tackle the increasing rates of childhood obesity in the UK.

Risk of future complications

“Over a decade ago, cases of children with Type 2 were rare. Today there are at least a thousand known cases in the UK. Unless action is taken now to stem the rising numbers of children with Type 2 diabetes, we are exposing our children to increased risk of complications such as heart disease, kidney failure and blindness.”

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