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Fri, 14 August 2020

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TV junk food adverts could be banned before 9pm as Boris Johnson eyes anti-obesity drive

TV junk food adverts could be banned before 9pm as Boris Johnson eyes anti-obesity drive

Boris Johnson said he had softened his ‘libertarian’ instincts on regulating junk food. (PA)

1 min read

Television junk food advertisements could banned before the 9pm watershed when Boris Johnson unveils his plan to tackle obesity next week.

The Times reports that the Government will consult on the move as part of a wide-ranging plan to help the country lose weight.

Boris Johnson — a longstanding critic of ‘nanny state’ measures to tackle the problem — admitted last month that he had ditched his “libertarian” position after his own brush with coronavirus.

Obesity is a major risk factor for the disease, and Mr Johnson is reported to have shed two stone himself since going into hospital.

A new consultation on the government’s strategy, which The Times reports will be unveiled next week, is expected to seek views on compulsory calorie counts for restaurant and takeaway menus, as well as a national campaign aimed to encouraging people to seek daily exercise. 

The advertising curbs could be introduced through a direction to regulator Ofcom, while measures to regulate online advertising are also said to be under consideration.

A ban on buy-one-get-one-free offers at supermarket checkouts could meanwhile be brought in within weeks — but the Prime Minister is said to remain set against increasing taxes on high-sugar products.


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