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UK: Ofcom research on TV food advertising to children

Ofcom has published research on children’s television advertising and its impact on childhood obesity.  It concluded:

The evidence shows that television advertising has a modest direct effect on children’s food consumption. However, the significance of this is small when compared to other factors potentially linked to childhood obesity such as exercise, trends in family eating habits inside and outside the home, parents’ demographics, school policy, public understanding of nutrition, food labelling and other forms of food promotion.

Ofcom concluded that on that basis,  a “total ban on such advertising would be both ineffective and disproportionate in its wider impact” .  Its four reasons for this include the fact that 70percent of children’s viewing takes place outside their viewing times. 

Source: Ofcom media release, 22 July 2004

Published on July 22, 2004 in International news