Junk food ads targeting kids on all media banned in UK by AgroWeb on April 10, 2017 From next July all adverts for food or drink high in fat, salt or sugar – targeted at under 16s – will be outlawed. Junk food advertising is to be banned across all children’s media in Great Britain in a landmark decision to help tackle childhood obesity.


The rule change means that for the first time ever online and social media will be brought into line with television, where strict regulation prohibits the advertising of unhealthy food to children. Children aged between five and 15 are spending on average 15 hours a week online, where advertisers can target them with so-called “pop-up adverts”, many of which promote junk food and fizzy drinks.


From next July all adverts for food or drink high in fat, salt or sugar – targeted at under-16s – will be outlawed. “Childhood obesity is a serious and complex issue and one that we’re determined to play our part in tackling,” said James Best, chairman of the Committee of Advertising Practice.


These restrictions will significantly reduce the number of ads for high, fat, salt or sugar products seen by children. “Our tough new rules are a clear demonstration that the ad industry is willing and ready to act on its responsibilities and puts the protection of children at the heart of its work.”


But health activists called for restrictions to be extended even to adult prime-time programs, which are hugely popular with children but exempt from restrictions because they fall outside children’s programming.


Health experts welcome the news that authorities are banning the advertising of high fat, salt or sugar food or drink products in children’s media. Experts know perfectly well that advertising influences children’s food preferences.


However, activists need to see bans on advertising go further, as they currently do not manage exposure to these adverts during popular family programs. The new restrictions also apply to TV-like content online, such as on video-sharing platforms or “advergames”, if they are directed at or likely to appeal particularly to children.


A ban on companies using promotions, licensed characters or celebrities popular with children in ads for junk food or drink will be partly lifted for the advertising of healthier options.


How about Albania?


Albania is putting on weight. Among children and adults, an increasing number of people are overweight or obese. 1 in 5 children in Albania suffers from obesity.


But obesity starts with junk food consumption from childhood. In 2014, 58.2% of men were overweight, while in 1975 only 33.6% had a big waistline.


Albanian women on the other part seem to be skinnier. The data shows that in 2014, 45.4% of women were overweight compared to 34.4% in 1975, while the number of obesity has almost doubled. In 1975 only 10.9% of the population suffered from obesity, while in 2014 that number goes up to 17%.


Experts are concerned about the increased number of obesity, especially on Albanian children, not only for the wide range of problems associated to it, like diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases, but also as obesity and weight gain are signs that show that a society is unhealthy.


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