Junk food advertisements are set to be banned on the London Underground as well as at bus stops in a new effort to take on the increasing rate of child obesity.
According to the City Hall, the plans to launch the ban across the network of the Transport for London (TFL) is set be announced soon once Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has fully examined the consultation responses. The Evening Standard reported that it could be as soon as this coming week.
It will prevent the promotion of foods that are considered to be high in salt, sugar, and fat as the government attempts to reduce the number of overweight and obese children across London, which has already become the worst city in Europe.
Of those children, 37.7 percent are currently in their last year of primary school and the trend appears to be rising.
Previously, Khan stated.”When I started looking at the statistics for childhood obesity in our city, it was heartbreaking. What I was seeing was in the poorest parts of London childhood obesity was the worst.”
He added: “In Barking and Dagenham, something like 45 per cent of Year Six children — these are 10 and 11-year-olds — are overweight or obese. You compare that to Richmond, where it’s 23 per cent. This is an issue of social justice — you have the poorest children overweight and obese.”
He continued: “I was being told stories from parents and carers with children at a Tube station or a bus stop, they see these adverts for fast food outlets. The children put pressure on parents or carers to get the junk food.”
The TFL generate approximately £147 million year from advertising and about £13 million of that comes from food advertisements that are set to be banned going forward.
earlier this year, Amsterdam carried out the same move and there have been encouraging signs so far.
The Food Standards Agency will be determining whether a food is high in fat, sugar or salt, however, it is not yet determined whether the ban will encompass junk food brands, or just the food itself, with Khan suggesting that healthy alternatives could be advertised.