Labour vows to ban junk food adverts during X Factor in childhood obesity crackdown
Labour has pledged to ban junk food adverts during hit TV shows the X Factor, Hollyoaks and Britain’s Got Talent in a bid to crack down on childhood obesity.
A bar on all junk food plugs before 9pm will help make the UK “the healthiest country in the world to grow up in”, Shadow Health Secretary John Ashworth will say.
He will add that halving childhood obesity within ten years is a key plank of the party’s plan to tackle health inequalities and cut the link between deprivation and child health.
“The scandal of child ill-health is a long-standing, growing and urgent challenge,” Mr Ashworth will say.
“It should be matter of shame that a child’s health is so closely linked to poverty and that where and in what circumstances you grow up can dramatically affect your life chances.”
Labour’s advertising ban – which it says will cut child engagement with junk food commercials by 82% – will target food and drinks that are high in fat, salt and sugar.
A ban on junk food adverts is already in place on the web and in other media where under 16s make up a quarter or more of the audience.
The party will vow to introduce a new child health index to measure progress against international standards and boost funding for child and adolescent mental health funding.
It will also pledge £250m each year to support the overall aims – raised from a reduction in NHS consultancy costs – and ring-fence the public health budget to help councils invest in health campaigns.
“The UK has one of the worst childhood obesity rates in Western Europe,” Mr Ashworth will say.
“When it comes to our children we should be ambitious. It’s time we invested properly in the health of the next generation.
“That means the sort of bold action we are outlining today to tackle obesity and invest in mental health provision.
“Labour will put children at the heart our health strategy and put measures in place to make Britain’s children the healthiest in the world.”