Marketing makes it hard to get kids to eat wellPublic plea to end pester power

18 April 2008

Irresponsible marketing makes it hard to encourage children to eat a healthy diet, according to a Which? survey.

That was the view of four out of five people in new Which? research.

A similar number think the government should do more to control the way unhealthy foods are marketed to children.

Restrictions

At present restrictions on the marketing of unhealthy food to children on non-broadcast promotions, such as online and on packaging, are either weak or non-existent. 

Meanwhile current regulations for TV advertising don’t cover adverts during the programmes that children watch the most.  

With the second reading of the Food Products (Marketing to Children) Bill by Nigel Griffiths MP just a week away, Which? is urging MPs to listen to parents across the country and lend their support.

The bill aims to introduce a 9pm watershed for television advertising of unhealthy food and protect children from other methods of marketing unhealthy food.

If the Bill is to pass through Parliament, over 100 MPs must attend the debate on 25 April.

Consumers can lobby their MPs by email via Which?

Pester

Which? Food Campaigner Clare Corbett said: ‘New types of promotions, like online and text messaging, have given food companies a whole new playground to promote unhealthy products to children. 

‘It’s no wonder pester power is a continuing problem and our research shows the real strength of public feeling.

‘With childhood obesity and diet-related health problems on the increase, the Government must take serious action - and soon.'