Junk food adverts to be banned across Transport for London network to combat child obesity

Friday, November 23, 2018

Advertisements for junk food will be banned across the entire Transport for London network from February 2019.

After a public consultation in which the majority of respondents were found to support the ban, TfL has announced the measures to tackle childhood obesity will come into effect on February 25 next year.

Some 2,500 Londoners were questions across two polls, with around 80% supporting the ban in both cases.


Rise in type 2 diabetes

National Child Measurement statistics from 2016-2017 showed that almost 40% of 10-11 year olds in London were obese, with those in deprived areas more likely to be overweight.

A report by Cancer Research also claimed people who saw junk food adverts every day were more likely to be obese, but that 87% of young people found such foods appealing.

Diabetes UK also released figures this week showing almost 7,000 youngsters suffer from type 2 diabetes, which is linked to obesity.

Director of policy and campaigns at Diabetes UK, Bridget Turner, said: “Type 2 diabetes can be devastating for children and young people.

“We need to encourage healthy living by providing clear and easy-to-understand nutritional information about the products we are all buying, and protect children from adverts for foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar.”


Fatty foods banned

Adverts that directly feature food and drink high in fat, salt and sugar will be banned completely - this means posters featuring common ‘treat’ foods such as burgers and chocolate won’t be allowed. Healthy alternatives will be allowed, but even nuts must be unsalted to qualify as a non-junk food.

Images showing people consuming junk foods will also be banned, and food retailers will be urged to depict their healthy options on adverts.

The regulations will apply across the entire TfL estate.