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Sunday 15th September 2019

Children bombarded with junk food ads

4th July 2014
The UK government have already banned advertisements containing foods aimed at children under 16 which is high in fat, salt and sugar.

Teenage BoyHowever, during a recent study it was found that children's television programmes in the UK still contained many references to unhealthy food and, in most cases, glamourised them.

Scientists at the University of Limerick, Ireland, watched hours of children's television on the BBC and the Irish state-broadcaster RTE.

They found unhealthy food, such as sweets or chocolates, made up 48% of all food appearances whilst sugary drinks made up 25% of all fluid appearances.

One of the scientists, Prof Clodagh O'Gorman, said: "We were startled by how much food there was and surprised at the type of food consistently represented."

She also said that junk food was being shown as without consequence.

These figures have been obtained but do not show what impact the references have had on the viewer and further research would be needed to find this out.

Before further information is released, Prof O'Gorman called on parents, doctors and regulators to show awareness of the levels of junk food in children's television.

Malcolm Clark, the coordinator of the Children's Food Campaign, said: "It is disappointing that children's TV seems to be so tamely reflecting the obesogenic environment we all live in, rather than presenting a more positive vision of healthy, sustainable food."

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