Food and Behaviour Research

Donate Log In

25 Sept 2011 - BBC Radio 4 - The Food Programme: Food ads and children


Sheila Dillon explores the issue of advertising junk food to children, and how companies have changed their marketing since the banning of the showing of food advertisements during children's television programmes four years ago.

Ofcom banned advertisements for junk food, high calorie, fat, sugar and salt in 2007.  Last year, Ofcom reviewed their ban and proudly announced that children saw 40% fewer of those ads in 2009 than in 2005. 

Meanwhile, another band of statisticians tell us that over a third of children under 12 are now overweight or obese, up nearly a percentage point in one year.  The National Diet and Nutrition Survey shows that 96% of children don't get enough fruit and veg and are still eating massively too much sugar, fat and salt, all part of what The Lancet last month called The Global Obesity Pandemic, caused by our obesigenic environment - that's food available everywhere, all the time, leading to massive over-eating. 

In that context, how important and successful are Ofcom's rules on advertising.  The question for this programme. 

Related links:

Biopsychology Research Group, Liverpool University
Global Obesity Pandemic
The National Diet and Nutrition Survey
National Heart Forum