Commission calls for ban on unhealthy food advertising to children

The ban on unhealthy food advertising on TV aimed at children should be extended to cover all media, an independent Commission has advised.

Dave Lewis
Dave Lewis, Unilever

The Commission is also calling for a “single branded vehicle” to deliver key messages on diet, exercise and moderate drinking in a report published today (Wednesday July 1).

The report, “We’re all in this together, improving the long term health of the nation” has been produced by a panel of experts from industry and public sector chaired by Unilever chairman Dave Lewis.

It was launched by Conservative shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley in August and included figures such as Wine and Spirit Trade Association chief executive Jeremy Beadles, University of Liverpool Clinical Epidemiology Professor Simon Capewell, Asda corporate affairs director Paul Kelly and Diabetes UK chief executive Douglas Smallwood.

A reduced VAT rate on physical activity services and providing common nutritional information on food wherever it is sold -from supermarkets to fast-food restaurants – are also among the measures called for in the report.

Lewis says the information the public receives on healthy diet and exercise “aren’t strategic, don’t fit together and aren’t working” because there is a lack of co-ordination between the Government, business, public sector organisations and charities.

“Business and Government working in partnership and taking a shared responsibility can make this big difference by helping to educate and inform people through clear and consistent messages, and by providing the opportunities to enable people to make the right lifestyle decisions for a longer, healthier life,” he says.

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