Junk food advertising halted before watershed

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Indy Lifestyle Online

A ban on television adverts for junk food has been agreed by the media regulator, Ofcom, after three years of rancour between health campaigners and the advertising industry.

In a move which will have wide-ranging consequences for television channels, advertisers and the health of the nation, the board of Ofcom agreed that advertising of foods deemed officially unhealthy should be halted before a nightly watershed to protect children.

Adverts for burgers, sweets and soft drinks will now be banned from children's television in the afternoon. A ban on the adverts into the evening is likely, with the cut-off point expected to range between 7pm and 9pm.

Campaigners reacted with delight to the news, which they said was vital to prevent the country's obesity epidemic spiralling out of control. But there is likely to be bitter disappointment in the television industry, which could lose advertising worth up to £200m a year.