Professor Jackie Taylor, President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow has welcomed the UK Government’s intention to ban junk food advertisements from pre-9pm watershed on TV and a total online ban.
The College represents over 15,000 healthcare professionals in Scotland, the UK and internationally and is the only Royal College of Medicine to represent five faculties, physicians, surgeons, dental, travel medicine and podiatry. It also supports and endorses the work of Obesity Action Scotland which seeks to prevent ill health by improving the food environments to ensure the healthy choice is the easy choice.
Professor Taylor said:
“On behalf of our College, we welcome the UK Government’s announcement that a Health and Care Bill will include measures to ban junk food adverts pre-9pm watershed on TV and for a total ban online. This is an important reserved matter where action will protect children from the damaging influence of such advertising on their food choices.
“The recent pandemic has highlighted our vulnerability because of our poor record on obesity. However, the pandemic has also shown the value we all place on our health and we must do all we can to support and achieve healthy weight.
“This is why organisations like Obesity Action Scotland exist and have a prominent ongoing campaign to promote better health by healthier eating.”
Lorraine Tulloch, Programme Lead, Obesity Action Scotland, has also welcomed yesterday’s announcement.
“Creating health promoting environments is one of the most important steps we can take to achieve healthy weight across the population. Tackling the incessant junk food advertising on TV and online will be a significant step forward in achieving health promoting environments. We welcome this proposal and would urge the UK Government to move forward with implementation as soon as possible.
In a separate development Obesity Action Scotland is also launching a report on 13 May 2021 which demonstrates the secondary impacts on health that a year of pandemic restrictions have had.
Referring to the pandemic and Obesity Action Scotland’s report, Professor Taylor added:
“Over the last year we have seen overweight and obesity to be associated with more severe complications from COVID-19. Alongside the clear evidence of increased risk for cancer, type 2 diabetes and other illnesses we must do all we can to achieve healthy weight in the population of Scotland. This survey highlights that the last year may have sent us in the wrong direction with physical activity, diet and weight. That is concerning. If we want to have a healthy population we must provide the right support to people to achieve healthy weight and that includes improving our environments.”