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Why we're celebrating the pre-watershed Junk Food Ban - and what more can be done!


The Government is to impose a UK-wide pre-9pm ban on TV adverts for food high in sugar, salt and fat.

Products affected include chocolate, burgers, soft drinks, cakes, sweets, ice cream, biscuits, sweetened juices, crisps, chips and pizzas.

A total ban on online adverts was proposed last year, but this has been scaled back after consultation.

Soil Association head of food and health policy Rob Percival said: “The advertising ban is hugely welcome and long overdue, having been called for by doctors and health organisations for many years. We know that exposure to junk food marketing influences what children eat, often for the worse.

“However, it’s disappointing that the proposed total ban on online adverts has been scaled back. 

This scaling back was the result of a persistent lobbying campaign by the food and advertising industries, intent on undermining the government’s good intentions. The advertising ban that remains will nevertheless do tremendous good.

“As a next step, the Government must address the prevalence of ultra-processed foods in our diets, as highlighted by Chris Van Tulleken’s BBC documentary ‘What are we feeding our kids? The UK Government should follow the example of the French government and introduce a percentage reduction target for ultra-processed foods in the diet. Fresh natural foods should form the basis of our diets, especially important for children.”

Pioneering caterers working with the Food for Life programme are demonstrating that freshly prepared, seasonal and sustainable meals can be served on a tight budget.”

Discover more about the Food for Life Served Here programme.