Tackling Junk Food Advertising
With an obesity epidemic on our hands it’s hard to believe that adverts promoting junk foods are still in existence. The cuts to the NHS have caused uproar but why are there not more simple, effective things being done to tackle the root of the problem. One suggestion being is to stop junk food advertising.
A recent documentary on BBC starring Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has challenged the UK government with that very point. During the programme Hugh is on a mission to help the UK to adopt certain changes to their lifestyle to make the UK a healthier nation. Along the way Hugh has taken the initiative to ask the UK government some very simple questions, so far they have declined to comment. By their silence you may be led to think that these questions are difficult to answer, but here are some of those very questions:
- Will you put a 9pm junk food advertising watershed in, so families can watch TV without being bombarded by unhealthy food adverts?
- What will you do to restrict big-brand discounts and checkout promotions of junk food (which are high in fat, sugar and salt)?
- Will you stop brands from using kids’ cartoon characters and superheroes on packaging to advertise junk food?
- Will you protect our kids from online junk food adverts that target them based on where they are, and what they like doing?
They don’t look very difficult to answer do they? This has since prompted a trending campaign to be started on social media called #AdEnough as endorsed by TV chef Jamie Oliver. The idea of the campaign is to highlight to the government that we as a nation are fed up of being bombarded with these type of adverts and that we would like to shape a healthier future for the next generations.
So far there has been a success story in which the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, has spoken up to say that he wants to help tackle the childhood obesity by removing junk food advertising across the entire Transport for London network. That’s a great start and so may actions like this continue.
We fully support Hugh’s quest to get the government to respond and take more action on the obesity crisis. We have signed his letter and if you would like to do so too you can here: https://www.newcastlecan.com/letter