Scottish public health minister asks for watershed for unhealthy food ads
Scottish Government public health minister Michael Matheson has asked Westminster whether it would support a move to make TV ads for foods high in fat, salt and sugar banned until the 9pm watershed. This follows research from which suggests children are still being exposed to advertising for unhealthy foods, despite an Ofcom ban for these types of foods being advertised during childrens’ shows. He said: "Broadcast advertising influences the choices made by children and can shape their attitudes to food as they grow into adulthood. "Tackling obesity and encouraging people to make healthier life choices is one of the most important things we can do to improve the health of our nation. The reality is that broadcast advertising is delivered across the UK and we need strong action and co-operation between governments to address this issue. "According to the UN and Ofcom studies, the restrictions brought in by Ofcom have been adhered to by children's channels and broadcasters showing programmes specifically aimed at children. "However, a loophole exists that allows HFSS (high in fat, sugar and salt) food adverts to feature during programmes with a high child audience such as soaps and talent shows. That's why we want to introduce a pre-watershed ban and are looking to the UK Government to support such a move which would carry the additional benefit of encouraging our partners in the food industry to reformulate their produce to lower salt, fat and sugar content."