The Department of Health and Social Care has announced that junk food giants will be banned from advertising online and before the 9pm TV watershed. Biscuits, cakes, chocolate bars, ready meals and other products high in sugar, salt or fat will be hit by the policy, a key part of Boris Johnson’s war on childhood obesity.
Health bosses claimed the controversial move, described as ‘insane’ and ‘nannying’ by some Tory MPs and industry bosses, could shave 7billion calories from children’s diets each year.
However, other high calorie non-junk foods, such as avocados, honey, olive oil and Marmite will be exempt from the ban despite their high fat, salt and sugar contents.
But it’s not a blanket ban. The Department of Health announced that small businesses will be exempt because ‘the government recognises these may be some of the hardest hit by the pandemic’.
The move comes as part of a wider government crackdown on the nation’s waistline, spearheaded by the Prime Minister after his near-fatal brush with Covid last year. Mr Johnson, once a vocal opponent of nanny state meddling in eating and drinking habits, said being ‘too fat’ was the reason for his stint in intensive care.
A ban on ‘buy one, get one free’ offers on junk food will come into force in major supermarkets in April next year.