Ban on unhealthy food ads 'should be extended'

More than 100 diabetes experts today called on the Government to introduce a law banning all forms of "unhealthy food" adverts targeting children.

The group said current restrictions on television advertising during children's programmes should extend to all adverts, including those in newspapers, magazines and on billboards, to stop an increase in the number of obese youngsters.

In January 2008 a total ban on adverts for unhealthy food and drink products around TV programmes for under-16s came into force.

It extended similar restrictions which were in place for shows aimed at children under 10, and applied to food and drink adverts around all programmes of particular appeal to children under 16.

The experts said preventing an increase in the number of youngsters who are obese would also cut the risk of more people developing Type 2 diabetes.

The group from across the UK also called for tighter regulations of the food, drink and catering industry following a meeting arranged by the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE) on Thursday and Friday last week.

Dr Scott Ramsay, lead organiser of the event for the RCPE, said: "Rates of obesity and diabetes are continuing to increase at alarming rates and pose one of the most serious health challenges of this time.

"In response to this situation, diabetes experts from across the UK have come together to call on the Scottish and UK governments to demonstrate greater leadership in tackling this crisis.

"In particular we believe that the lessons from effective legislation on smoking should be used to promote healthier diets, increased physical activity and to inform transport and planning policy.

"This should involve tighter regulation of the food and drink industry and the extension of restrictions on 'less healthy' food and drink advertising in children's television programmes to all forms of advertising aimed at children.

"Smoking legislation is a good example of how laws can be used to benefit the public health and obesity has reached a crisis point," he added.

Around 120 leading specialists from across the UK agreed to a "consensus statement" to call for more legislation.

The experts also discussed wider aspects of diabetes care including recommendations on how clinical work could be improved.

Copies of the consensus statement will be submitted as recommendations to the Department of Health and the Scottish Government.

Last month a poll found most people had no idea their "spare tyre" or "muffin top" would put them at increased risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

The survey of more than 2,000 people was commissioned by Diabetes UK, Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Excess weight around the middle generates oestrogen and excess chemicals in the stomach, which put people at higher risk of killer diseases.

But 97% of people questioned were unaware of a link despite 71% of those surveyed saying they had a "spare tyre" or "muffin top".

Women are at risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease if their waist measures more than 80cm (31.5 inches) while men are at risk at more than 94cm (37 inches).

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Guru Careers: Software Developer / Web Developer

£30 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Software / Web Developer (PHP / MYSQL) i...

Guru Careers: Account Executive

£18 - 20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Executive is needed to join one...

Reach Volunteering: Volunteer Trustee with Management, Communications and Fundraising

Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses are reimbursable: Reach Volunteering...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission, Benefits, OTE £100k: SThree: ...

Day In a Page

Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada
Birthplace of Arab Spring in turmoil as angry Tunisians stage massive sit-in over lack of development

They shall not be moved: jobless protesters bring Tunisia to a halt

A former North African boom town is wasting away while its unemployed citizens stick steadfastly to their sit-in
David Hasselhoff's new show 'Hoff the Record': What's it like working with a superstar?

Hanging with the Hoff

Working with David Hasselhoff on his new TV series was an education for Ella Smith
Can Dubai's Design District 'hipster village' attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?

Hipsters of Arabia

Can Dubai’s ‘creative village’ attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?
The cult of Roger Federer: What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?

The cult of Roger Federer

What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?
Kuala Lumpur's street food: Not a 'scene', more a way of life

Malaysian munchies

With new flights, the amazing street food of Kuala Lumpur just got more accessible
10 best festival beauty

Mud guards: 10 best festival beauty

Whether you're off to the Isle of Wight, Glastonbury or a local music event, we've found the products to help you
Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe

A Different League

Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe, says Pete Jenson
Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey - Steve Bunce

Steve Bunce on Boxing

Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf