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Junk food ad ban will not help reduce child obesity, say peers | UK News

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Banning junk food adverts before 9pm would not help reduce childhood obesity, a committee of peers has said.

Products containing high fat, salt and sugar content could be banned from television before the watershed, the Department of Health and Social Care announced in March as it launched a consultation on the plans.

But the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee has said there is not “sufficient evidence” it could help children while at the same time reducing advertising revenues.

“We do not think that there is sufficient evidence that the proposed ban on high in fat, salt and sugar advertising before the 9pm watershed would significantly reduce childhood obesity,” its report said.

“We are concerned that such a blanket ban could undermine the funding model of commercial broadcasting in the UK without delivering significant benefits to children’s health.”

It even warned the ban “might also be counterproductive if manufacturers divert advertising spending to fund price promotions”.

The report argues that advertising is vital for commercial public broadcasters to compete with each other and the BBC.

A government spokesman said: “As part of the government’s strategy to tackle childhood obesity, we have consulted on further advertising restrictions for sugary and fatty products on TV and online.

“We will respond to that consultation in due course.”

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