In a bid to reduce child obesity by 2030, the UK government is planning to restrict food advertisements that are high in fat, sugar, salt also referred to as HFSS on television before 9 pm.
Based on the government’s plans, experts conducted a study which led to some positive findings.
The study found that banning can help as many as 160,000 children from getting overweight.
With lesser exposure to such tempting advertisements, the experts believe children will consume 9 calories less on an average each day. This in turn can decrease obesity in the country by 4.6% among the age group of 5-17.
The number of children who are considered overweight could decrease by 3.6% among the same age group in the UK.
These conclusions are based on the direct impact banning will have on calorie intake among 5-17 years old. The study doesn’t elaborate on the impacts it will have among people who are above 17 years of age, the changes in their everyday intake of food in terms of calories and selection of food items it will lead to are yet to be studied.
In 2007, the government banned junk food commercials that were shown during Children’s cartoons or other TV programmes.
In July this year government again made headlines as it announced that they are planning to broaden the ban to include 9 pm restrictions. Further notice to implement the restrictions are yet to come.
Google has made a similar announcement regarding its platforms such as YouTube to ban such commercials among children’s programs.
Dr Oliver Mytton, who was part of the study said:
“Our analysis shows that introducing a 9pm watershed on unhealthy TV food advertising can make a valuable contribution to protecting the future health of all children in the UK. So in order to give all children the opportunity to grow up healthy it is important to ensure that this advertising doesn’t just move to the 9 to 10pm slot and to online services.”
Problem of obesity
Obesity is one of the major causes of type 2 diabetes, heart diseases and some types of cancers as well. One in every five children in the UK in the age group of 4-5 is obese or overweight, whereas in the age group of 10-11 the numbers increase to one in three children are either obese or overweight.
Ban could also benefit the UK in financial terms as it will help saving Euro 7.4 billion.