The Obesity Health Alliance, a coalition of over 30 leading national health charities, campaign groups, and Royal Medical Colleges, has today responded to the Committee of Advertising Practice consultation launch on introducing new restrictions on the advertising of food and soft drink products to children. They said in a joint statement:
“Although the proposals in the consultation launched today by the Committee of Advertising Practice acknowledge the need for tighter controls, the overall recommendations fall short of what is needed to tackle the relentless marketing of unhealthy foods and drinks seen by children. Constant exposure to unhealthy food and drinks on TV, radio, the internet, social media, in magazines, and for some even at school makes it very difficult to children and their families to make healthy choices and greatly influences the food they eat. Currently one in five children in England is overweight or obese before they start primary school, and by the time they leave, this increases to almost one in three. Obese children are more likely to be obese as adults, which in turn increases their risk of developing serious health conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, cancer, stroke and cardiovascular disease. These conditions have a devastating human impact and also place a huge financial burden on our already stretched health service. This is why we need tough and far reaching action to protect children from harmful advertising and to give them the best possible chance of a healthy future. While we welcome the opportunity for consultation on this area, the Government has rightly declared that childhood obesity is a national emergency so we need a game changing approach to tackle it.”
Notes to editor:
- The Obesity Health Alliance (OHA) is a coalition of over 30 leading health charities, campaign groups and Royal Medical Colleges who have joined together to fight obesity. OHA has produced a joint statement that outlines ten measures that must be implemented to curb the rising tide of obesity and its devastating impact on the public’s health and the NHS’ finances: https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/news/new-alliance-obesity-outlines-priorities-action
- The membership of the OHA currently comprises: Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Action on Sugar, Association for the Study of Obesity, Association of Directors of Public Health , British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine , British Liver Trust, British Heart Foundation, British Medical Association, British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society, British Society of Gastroenterology, Cancer Research UK Children’s Food Campaign, Diabetes UK, Faculty of Public Health, Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine, Health Equalities Group, Institute of Health Visiting, Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, National Obesity Forum, Men’s Health Forum, Royal College of Anaesthetists, Royal College of General Practitioners , Royal College of Nursing , Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Royal College of Surgeons of England, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Royal Society of Public Health , Society for Endocrinology , UK Health Forum, World Cancer Research Fund UK.
- The statement has been issued on the behalf of the Obesity Health Alliance steering group, which comprises of: British Heart Foundation, British Medical Association, Cancer Research UK, Diabetes UK, Faculty of Public Health, Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK Health Forum.