Giants Kellogg's and Mars slam government plan to ban all junk food ads online

FOOD giants including Kellogg's and Mars have reportedly hit out at a proposal which could see all online junk food adverts banned.

They have sent a letter to Boris Johnson saying although they back moves to combat obesity in kids, they fear the ban would be rushed and "disproportionate".

Under the plan, advertising for foods high in fat, salt or sugar would be banned from platforms such as Facebook and in posts on platforms including Twitter and Instagram.

The government has made it clear it wants to help children and families make "healthier choices" and originally planned to ban online adverts and TV commercials for unhealthy foods before 9pm.

However, it then strengthened its stance in November, reports the BBC.

Boris is said to have changed his mind after he being struck down with Covid-19- which he himself linked to being "too fat."

Unveiling plans for the ban, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "I am determined to help parents, children and families in the UK make healthier choices about what they eat.

"We know children spend more time online. Parents want to be reassured they are not being exposed to adverts promoting unhealthy foods, which can affect habits for life."

The letter to the PM , which has been signed by 800 food and drink manufacturers and 3,000 UK brands, says companies haven't been given enough to time to state their cases.

"The UK government is quite correctly committed to evidence-based policy making. However, the evidence base underpinning these proposals is lacking in both detail and efficacy," reads.

"Additionally, there is still no agreed definition of which foods the government is including in these proposals.

"They are so broad they even capture family favourites from chocolate to peanut butter to sausage rolls."

It is estimated children aged under 16 were exposed to 15 billion junk food adverts online in 2019 compared to 700 million in 2017.

Researchers estimate the move would also cut childhood obesity by 40,000 and save the UK £7.4billion in lost productivity.

One in three children in England leave primary school too fat, increasing their risk of cancer, heart disease and type-2 diabetes.

The government has vowed to halve childhood obesity by 2030.






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