Inquiry into obesity 'timebomb' may lead to advertising ban

The research that found advertising does work on obese children might have influenced the launch of an official inquiry into fast and fatty food advertising.

The Independant reports that an inquiry is launched today into the sale of unhealthy foods to children.

The investigation by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) could lead to a ban or tough restrictions on promoting fattening, salty and sugary products on television and in stores. Using popular cartoon or TV characters to promote unhealthy foods could also be banned.

The proposals, which have alarmed the advertising industry and food manufacturers, come after a series of official reports that have revealed child obesity is reaching epidemic levels in Britain.

Meanwhile the Telegraph wonders "Where are the TV ads for carrots?".

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more on this: SMH australia:
Ministers deny TV advertising helps to fuel child obesity
Australia's health ministers have rejected widening calls for a ban on television food advertising aimed at children, saying there is no evidence that promoting fatty, sugary foods to children makes them overweight.

The Australian Medical Association yesterday joined most other big doctors' groups in calling for a ban.

Participants at yesterday's health ministers conference in Sydney agreed obesity was a big cause of preventable health problems and poor eating habits were creating a huge health and financial burden. However, the push from doctors to ban the television advertising of inappropriate food was not discussed.
The AMA's decision to call for a ban comes after the release this week of a report, Children's Health or Corporate Wealth, compiled by the Coalition on Food Advertising to Children, which found the vast majority of commercials were for foods high in fat, sugar or salt, and of low nutritional value, and cited studies showing these influenced children's diets.

Michael Rice, the children's health spokesman for the AMA, said: "Health ministers must today put children's health ahead of the wealth of big business by banning the TV advertising of unsuitable and unhealthy food to kids.
"Studies have shown that advertising unsuitable foods during peak children's television viewing times leads to an increase in the consumption of these foods."