Doctors in Call to Ban Junk Food Advertising

Article excerpt

Public health doctors have called for a ban on TV advertising of junk food before the watershed in efforts to protect children.

The British Medical Association's conference of public health medicine and community health heard calls from doctors for action to tackle childhood obesity by stopping the targeting of youngsters.

The matter was referred to the BMA's public health committee after representatives from around the country supported a ban on junk food ads before the watershed at 9pm and totally on children's TV channels.

'I think it is utterly and fundamentally wrong that the food industry, or any other kind of industry, should assume the right, for no more than their own commercial purposes, to persuade people to harm themselves. This is especially true of children,' Dr Steve Watkins, deputy chairman of the public health committee said.

He branded the practice of targeting children with high fat, high salt and high sugar foods as 'utterly despicable'.

'The food industry relies very much on promoting this food to children as if this should be the type of food they should be eating.

'This is a pernicious process,' Dr Watkins said.

'It is important that we confine the advertisement of most processed foods to a time when they will not be promoted directly to children. …