North East public backs Cancer Research call for ban on junk food ads

Picture by: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire/Press Association Image.
Picture by: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire/Press Association Image.

The North East public is backing a call for ban on junk food advertising before watershed.

A new survey, published by Cancer Research UK, has found 81 per cent of the public in the North East are in favour of the ban before the 9pm watershed.

“We want the government to ban junk food adverts on TV before the 9pm watershed, put a tax on sugary drinks and enforce targets for reducing the amount of fat and sugar in food,” said Nicki Embleton, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the North East.

In addition, 55 per cent of the public are calling for a tax on sugary drinks to help tackle the rising childhood obesity epidemic.

As well as this, the survey found that 72 per cent of the North East public support reducing junk food advertising online and 62 per cent support cutting price promotions on junk food.

The survey also shows that 76 per cent of people in the region think child obesity is a problem.

It also shows that nearly one in four children are overweight or obese when they enter primary school, and, alarmingly, this increases to more than one in three in year 6.

Ms Embleton added: “Junk food is everywhere.

“Children are bombarded by advertising tailored to tempt them with pretty colours and cartoons, which all influence the food they prefer.

“At a time when junk food is cheap and packed with extra calories, we need stronger action to help prevent children from choosing these foods.

“Reducing obesity rates could save the NHS billions of pounds and, ultimately, we owe it to future generations to reduce preventable disease caused by being overweight and obese.”

Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Welness and Culture, echoes Nicki Embleton’s sentiment when he said: “The ban on this type of television advertising by Cancer Research UK is an interesting suggestion, as we know that children are influenced by television adverts.

“Promoting a healthier lifestyle is essential, if we are to reduce the risk of long-term illnesses and obesity.

“We must all continue to work together to influence the health of our future generations by encouraging a healthy diet.

“A poor diet which includes junk food can lead to obesity which is a local and national issue, and one we are continually working with health partners across the city to address.”

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