Which? has called on the government to tackle the obesity crisis by introducing a 9pm watershed for junk food ads on TV within three months.
We also want ministers to protect kids by bringing in tougher restrictions for non-broadcast marketing.
Our call comes on the day that new government research, commissioned in 2005 to help ministers understand the scale of the problem, warned that half the population will be obese within 25 years if current trends continue.
TV ad ban
Which? chief policy advisor Sue Davies said: ‘Now is the time for the government to back up its words with real actions to tackle childhood obesity.
‘We have seen very little change from the industry, who must be wondering whether the government is serious about taking tougher action.
‘A government commitment to a 9pm advertising watershed and curbs on non broadcast marketing of unhealthy foods aimed at children would help kick-start the much needed turnaround in levels of childhood obesity.’
The government has also been warned that fighting the epidemic of obesity could bankrupt the NHS.
National Obesity Forum (NOF) chairman Dr Colin Waine said ministers might have to confront the food industry to tackle the problem.
Speaking at the NOF’s fifth annual conference in London, he said that, despite warnings to successive governments in the last three decades, there has been no really effective joined-up action.
Sue Davies added: ‘If the government is serious about putting the needs of children and their families first, it must support parents who are trying to instill healthy eating habits in their children. Which? research shows that 86 per cent of parents want to see the government do more to prevent companies from promoting unhealthy foods to children.’