Junk food adverts aimed at children face being BANNED before the watershed

Junk food adverts aimed at children face being BANNED before the watershed

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Junk food adverts

Labour plan to tackle Britain’s obesity crisis

  • Labour manifesto to ban junk food adverts aimed at children before 9pm
  • High fat foods and sugary treats marketed at children will be banned
  • Will impose maximum amounts of fat, sugar and salt in cereals and crisps 
  • Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham will unveil the new proposals 
  • He will say that more should be done to give every child a healthier start 
  • Will also reveal that a Labour government will ‘promote physical activity’ 
  • Party to target high-strength alcohol and bring in plain cigarette packaging 

Junk food adverts aimed at children face being banned before the watershed, under proposals announced by Labour today.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said too many children were ‘exposed to adverts for foods high in fat, sugar and salt’ – particularly during popular Saturday night shows like the X Factor.

The proposal was contained in a raft of public health measures announced today aiming to tackle Britain’s obesity epidemic. 

Labour's shadow health secretary Andy Burnham launched the party's public health policy at the London headquarters of left-wing think tank Demos this morning

Labour’s shadow health secretary Andy Burnham launched the party’s public health policy at the London headquarters of left-wing think tank Demos this morning

Mr Burnham said Labour would impose ‘a time watershed for advertising of products high in sugar, fat and/or salt’ if measures cannot not be agreed with regulators to dramatically cut the number of junk food adverts aimed at children.

The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt took to Twitter to condemn the proposals.

He said that “banning and legislation not always the answer” and that “backing families to make better choices brings lasting change”.

But Mr Burnham accused the Government of being ‘too close to powerful vested interests’ to stand up for children.

He said Labour would impose maximum amounts of fat, sugar and salt contained in food aimed at children, such as crisps and cereals.

Mr Burnham revealed that a Labour government will put the ‘promotion of physical activity’ at the centre of health policy and will unveil a ‘national ambition’ to get people doing more exercise.

The manifesto will publish new recommended levels of physical activity, including a basic minimum that everyone who can should try to do, as well as a ‘recommended level that we should aspire to get at least 50 per cent of people achieving by 2025’.

There will also be ‘targeted action’ on high-strength, low-cost alcohol such as white cider – with minimum prices and a ban on larger bottles.

And plain cigarette packaging will be introduced immediately to ‘halt the industry’s increasingly sophisticated methods of recruiting new, young smokers’.

Labour will have a goal that children born in 2015 will become the first ‘smoke-free generation’.

In a speech at the Demos think tank in London, Mr Burnham said: ‘Labour has traditionally led the way on public health and this new approach will chart a new course towards a healthy nation in the 21st Century.

‘In a century of rising demand, helping people take more responsibility for their own health will be essential if we are to ensure the NHS remains affordable and sustainable for the future.

‘As part of this, children will need better protection from the pressures of modern living and the harm caused by alcohol, sugar and smoke and Labour will not flinch from taking the action needed to provide it.

‘David Cameron and his Government are too close to powerful vested interests to stand up for our children. This new positive approach will help give all children a healthy start and help adults to get the most out of life.’

Action on public health is essential not only to improve health and wellbeing but to ensure the NHS remains sustainable for the long term.

Mr Burnham said that unless firm action is taken to halt the rise in obesity and diabetes, the cost of diabetes to the NHS will rise from £10 billion to £17 billion a year by 2035.

Labour will also pursue improvements to food labelling to help people better understand what they are eating, including working at EU level to introduce traffic light labelling of packaged food.

They will also ensure that by the time they leave school, all young people will have had access to emergency first aid training including cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of defibrillators.

Automated external defibrillators will also be placed in major public places, such as shopping centres, airports and railway stations.

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