Scotland’s Public Health Minister, Michael Matheson, has introduced a pre-9pm ban on the television advertising of foods which are high in fat, sugar and salt content.
Matheson has also written to Westminster Health Secretary Andrew Lansley asking whether he would support a move to introduce this ban across the UK.
“We want to introduce a pre-watershed ban and are looking to the UK Government to support such a move which would carry the additional benefit of encouraging our partners in the food industry to reformulate their produce to lower salt, fat and sugar content,” said Matheson.
The ban would restrict the viewing of junk food and sugary snacks and affect a wide range of corporations such as Pizza Hut, Mars, Cadbury, KFC and McDonalds.
With the highest obesity rate in the UK, the new proposal is intended to combat Scotland’s obesity problem. Particularly Scotland’s childhood obesity which is a concern for heath experts with 1 in 5 primary school children being considered overweight. Currently there is a ban on advertising junk food during children programs, how ever Matheson is seeking tighter regulations and further actions.
“Broadcast advertising influences the choices made by children and can shape their attitudes to food as they grow into adulthood. Tackling obesity and encouraging people to make healthier life choices is one of the most important things we can do to improve the health of our nation,” continued Matheson.
Even if Westminster refuses to join with the ban, the Scottish Government with still mover to introduce the ban within the country.