Fresh bid to ban junk food marketing to kidsConsumer groups from across globe launch new code

15 March 2008

Chip on fork

Which? and other consumer groups from across the globe have launched proposals to drastically cut the amount of junk food marketing to children.

Obesity experts have also joined the coalition in calling for governments to adopt an international code on the marketing of food and drinks to kids as a major step in helping to protect the 177 million children currently threatened by obesity related diseases.

Consumers International (CI) and the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) will be recommending the code to the World Health Assembly in May.

TV watershed

The code tackles the failures of the food industry to regulate itself.

It demands a ban on radio or TV adverts promoting unhealthy food between 6am and 9pm.

It also calls for a ban on the marketing of unhealthy food using new media - such as websites, social networking sites and text messaging.

The code wants food companies to stop using free gifts and toys which appeal to children to promote unhealthy foods, and calls for a ban on the use of celebrities, cartoon characters and competitions to market unhealthy food.

Food promotions

Which? chief policy advisor Sue Davies said: ‘With rising rates of obesity and diet-related disease escalating globally, food companies need to take a more responsible approach to the way they market their foods to children whichever part of the world they are trading in.

‘The CI/IOTF Code sets out the approach that we hope the World Health Organisation, national governments and the companies themselves will adopt to curb unhealthy food promotions and instead help to promote healthier messages.’