Can a ban on junk food advertising reverse our childrens’ unhealthy food intake?

Photo by Amina Filkins on Pexels.com

From the BMJ 3 July and 21 August 21

Advertisements for unhealthy food and drink will be banned before the 9pm watershed by the end of 2022 in television and on demand programmes in the UK.

Chris Thomas, a research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy would have liked to have seen measures going further, by taxation of these foods. He says that money raised could be used to fund free nutritious food for those who need it. This improves both health and the economy.

In the USA, children get two thirds of their energy intake from ultra processed foods. The proportion of calories from such food is rising steadily. In 1999 it was 61.4% and in 2018 it was 67%. As the amount of wholesome, home cooked food reduces, the levels of childhood obesity increase. Ready meals are responsible for 11.2%, and sweet snacks 12.9%. The trend is now reducing for sugary drinks, sauces and oils.

6 thoughts on “Can a ban on junk food advertising reverse our childrens’ unhealthy food intake?”

  1. I am cautious about raising prices. Experience in other places is that when prices were raised for alcohol and tobacco for the purpose of control, people sacrificed buying healthy food for themselves and their children so they could purchase cigarettes. I don’t have a paper to cite, but this claim from me comes after being in the Top End of the Northern Territory and hearing researchers in Indigenous health present their findings in what turned out to be poor policy from a government which didn’t understand the societal factors and took an overly paternalistic approach to a problem.

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  2. It’s good to hear about the ban on junk food commercials. If only the US would catch on, but we’re too busy putting out quick junk and making quick money, sadly.

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  3. I do not think banning advertising will do it. Why? It did not work with smoking, or alcohol. What works? Taxes of course. Want to influence behavior in America? Tax it. Who was the one guy who told us about this? Yeah that Adam Smith guy.

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  4. 3 years ago when I lived in Seattle, the city decided to charge tax for sugary drinks. I read an article that tells us they collected thousands of money from that tax within 3 months, but not sure if kids stopped purchasing them for not willing to pay those taxes…time for me to search for that😊🙌

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