What these new figures in fact reveal is that children’s media habits have changed, with time increasingly spent not just in front of the TV but online. And where the audiences go, so do the advertisers. However, exposure to harmful advertising on TV still remains a problem. Children’s TV viewing peaks around early evening time, when we know they can see as many as nine junk food adverts during one 30 minute episode of their favourite programme. Evidence shows that seeing just four minutes of junk food advert leads children to eat an extra 60 calories, equivalent to a small biscuit. These extra calories all add up, contributing to weight gain.
The scale of our childhood obesity problem is putting the health of our next generation under threat. One in three children now leave school with overweight or obesity. We need the Government to protect children from adverts for unhealthy food and drinks across all media, with a 9pm watershed on junk food adverts on TV and equivalent measures online.
Read the full ASA report here