Taiwan aims to become of one of the first societies in the world to ban junk food adverts in children's TV programmes in a bid to cut obesity rates, an official said Thursday.

The authorities are drafting a bill to ban such commercials as well as images of smoking in children's programmes, following the lead of Britain and South Korea, said an official at the Bureau of Health Promotion.

The bill will also introduce the world's first tax on food deemed unhealthy, such as sugary drinks, candy, cakes, fast food and alcohol.

The Apple Daily said the bill is expected to be submitted to parliament for approval later this year and could take effect around 2011.

Taiwan would be the first government in the world to impose a junk food tax if the bill is passed, according to the John Tung Foundation, a local health advocacy group.

Overweight problems are getting worse in Taiwan, with 25 to 30 percent of children obese or overweight, according to data from the foundation.