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New regulations fail to make TV food adverts healthier for children
Date:2/16/2012

the food they eat."

The restrictions which have been phased in since April 2007, apply to foods prominently displayed in adverts and include non-alcoholic drinks. No adverts for foods that are high in fat, salt or sugar can be broadcast during children's programmes, on children's channels, or during programmes that are expected to attract a lot of child viewers. When introduced by Ofcom, the regulations were intended to reduce significantly the exposure of children to television advertising of foods high in fat, salt and sugar and were seen as a step towards improving children's diets and tackling rising levels of obesity.

The research team used information from a national panel of households who record all television that they watch. Over a one-week period six months before the restrictions were in place there were 104,145 person-minute-views of advertising for food amongst this panel. Of these 40,233 were for unhealthy food which is 38.6%. During a full week six months after the restrictions had been fully implemented in 2009, there were 139,959 person-minute-views of food advertising and of this 60.4% was for unhealthy food or 84,526 person-minute-views.

The prevalence of obesity in the UK has increased markedly over the last 20 years. In 1993, 12% of men and 16% of women were considered obese. By 2010 26% of both men and women were classified as obese. In 2010-11, 11% of boys and 9% of girls in reception year (aged 4-5 years) were obese; whilst 20% of boys and 17% of girls in year 6 (aged 10-11 years) were obese. By 2050 obesity is predicted to affect 60% of adult men, 50% of adult women and 25% of children.


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Contact: Karen Bidewell
press.office@ncl.ac.uk
44-019-122-26972
Newcastle University
Source:Eurekalert

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