Health stakeholders increasingly recommend a total ban of the advertising of unhealthy foodstuffs targeted at children. Advertisers call for self-regulation and media-education.
The British Medical Association (BMA) Board of Science published, on 22 June 2005, a report on preventing childhood obesity. The report highlights the main aspects of childhood nutrition and exercise and provides links to sources of further information. The report is designed as a guide for healthcare professionals on aspects of childhood obesity and makes recommendations for tackling the obesity epidemic in the UK.
On advertising, the report recommends a total ban of the advertising of unhealthy foodstuffs, including inappropriate sponsorship programmes, targeted at school children.
Further on advertising, the report recommends that:
- celebrities and children’s television characters should only be associated to healthy products;
- supermarkets should promote healthy food instead of chocolates, sweets and crisps;
- new standards in nutritional content, food labelling, marketing and promotion should be developed and adopted by the food industry;
- nutritional labelling and health claims should be regulated.