Labour pledge to ban junk food advertising to children

As part of Labour's Child Health Action Plan, the party has pledged to ban junk food advertising to children.

As part of Labour’s Child Health Action Plan, the party has pledged to tackle childhood obesity by banning junk food advertising to children.

The party will do this by introducing a 9pm watershed for junk food advertising on television. In addition, Labour will ban paid-for online advertising of less healthy foods aimed at children.

Also part of its pledge to tackle childhood obesity is Labour’s plan to will implement a mandatory, ‘balanced and broad’ national curriculum that makes a wide range of physical activities compulsory for all schools.

The party hopes that these pledges will help to create ‘the healthiest generation of children ever’.

Barbara Crowther is manager of the Children’s Food Campaign. She said: ‘We are encouraged to hear that the Labour Party is putting the health of the nation’s children at the heart of its agenda for the future. More than ever children need protection from the flood of unhealthy junk food marketing, and measures that will increase access to nutritious, tasty food instead.

‘We welcome that Keir Starmer has said that these are just the “first steps” that Labour will take. We believe that they also need to create a long term vision for healthy school food for all, look at advertising on our streets not just on TV or online, and also explore how they could incentivise the food and drink industry more purposefully to shift the recipes and menus of the food and drink in shops, cafes and takeaways towards tasty, nutritious and sustainably produced options.

‘That would certainly build a more prosperous, healthy future for our children.’

‘We’re not going to sit idly by’

This comes after the party also announced a pledge to to implement a supervised toothbrushing scheme during ‘fully funded’ breakfast clubs. This pledge is also part of Labour’s Child Health Action Plan, which has been criticised as creating a ‘nanny state’.

In defence of these claims, Wes Streeting, shadow health secretary, said: ‘If the Conservatives want to throw around silly labels like “nanny state”, and then they’re going to throw much more mud than that in the run up to the election, I don’t think the public are going to buy that after 14 years of their failure.

‘We’re not going to sit idly by while tooth decay sees so many children admitted to hospital.’

He added: ‘We’re not going to sit idly by while children become fatter, more unhealthy, less happy; we’re going to take action on behalf of children across our country and I think that’s something parents across the land will support.’

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