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PM to target junk food ads in obesity crackdown

PM to target junk food ads in obesity crackdown
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PM to target junk food ads in obesity crackdown

PM to focus on junk meals advertisements in weight problems crackdown

A woman and a man eat crisps and a burger on a sofaPicture copyright
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The prime minister is about to announce new measures to curb weight problems subsequent week, and they’re anticipated to incorporate a ban on TV junk meals adverts earlier than 21:00.

The measures are but to be finalised however are additionally more likely to embrace a ban on on-line advertisements for unhealthy meals, and limits on in-store promotions.

Some eating places may very well be required to place calorie labels on menus.

It comes amid rising proof people who find themselves obese or overweight are at better danger from coronavirus.

The transfer marks a change in stance by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has beforehand criticised levies on meals excessive in salt, fats and sugar – and described his views on tackling weight problems as “libertarian”.

Mr Johnson’s expertise in intensive care throughout his therapy for Covid-19 is believed to have contributed to his altering place.

Talking throughout a go to to a GP surgical procedure in east London, he stated that whereas he was not usually one for “nannying or bossying”, the nation did must shed weight to guard from a second spike.

He stated: “Weight problems is likely one of the actual co-morbidity elements. Dropping pounds is likely one of the methods you’ll be able to scale back your individual danger from coronavirus.”


Boris Johnson has lengthy been essential of the “nanny state”.

However the obvious hyperlink between weight problems and extra severe circumstances of Covid-19, alongside along with his personal expertise in intensive care, seems to have satisfied the prime minister that the federal government ought to take a extra energetic function in selling public well being.

He has described the coronavirus disaster as “a devastating blow” so it appears that evidently the weight problems technique will probably be a part of a battle plan to forestall it hanging so exhausting once more.


Ministers are nonetheless finalising the element of some anti-obesity measures, equivalent to whether or not to require extra distinguished labelling of meals and drinks with excessive ranges of sugar or salt.

Proposals put ahead, however not enacted, by Mr Johnson’s predecessor Theresa Could in 2018 are more likely to be revived.

She consulted on whether or not to ban TV adverts for meals which might be excessive in fats, salt or sugar throughout household viewing hours – and whether or not to limit internet advertising.

The proposals had been broadly resisted by advertisers and business broadcasters.

However it’s thought Mr Johnson is more likely to push forward with promoting restrictions, and is contemplating banning in-store promotions of unhealthy meals.

Recreation changer

Well being and Social Care Minister Helen Whatley instructed BBC Breakfast that whereas she couldn’t touch upon the experiences, an announcement was due “imminently”. She stated she recognised weight problems was “presumably the best well being problem” the nation confronted.

“Notably with Covid, you might be at better danger of getting it, at better danger of problems, at better danger of sadly dying from Covid if you’re obese.

“As it’s such an essential well being problem we now have to take it on, and the PM is dedicated to creating certain we sort out weight problems and… folks stay wholesome lives.”

Tam Fry, chairman of the Nationwide Weight problems Discussion board, instructed BBC Radio 4’s Right this moment programme he believed the prime minister’s expertise in St Thomas’s hospital had been a “recreation changer” and that it was understood the goal was to get folks to shed weight “previous to the subsequent spike”.

He stated: “There hasn’t been a ban like this however it’s got to be given a attempt – and if after a time period it’s proven to not be so efficient, then possibly it can cease.

“It’s certainly a danger however the issue is that the consequence of weight problems is so nice that dangers and daring measures need to be put in place.”

He referred to as for the sugar tax on smooth drinks to be prolonged to different merchandise.

However Tim Rycroft, chief working officer of the Meals and Drink Federation, stated the rumoured transfer was a “slap within the face” to the meals business, which he stated had labored “heroically” to maintain the nation fed through the pandemic.

“It’s going to ban promotions of meals 10 days earlier than the chancellor launches the most important meals promotion the nation has ever seen,” he instructed Right this moment. “It’s going to put huge prices on the promoting business and on broadcasters at a time when the economic system is in fairly a tenuous scenario.”

The NHS says most adults with a physique mass index (BMI) of 25 to 29.9 are obese, whereas these with a BMI of 30 to 39.9 are classed as overweight. One other measure of extra fats is waist dimension – males with a waist of 94cm or extra and ladies with a waist of 80cm or extra usually tend to develop obesity-related issues.

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