Junk food adverts should be banned, LGA advises

The Local Government Association (LGA) has called on the government to issue a ban on junk food advertising near schools, nurseries and children’s centres, in a bid to tackle child obesity.

The LGA maintained that the move would reduce children’s exposure to unhealthy food and drinks. Current regulations direct that councils must apply to the secretary of state and consult the public if they wish to control advertising near schools.

Research also found that 75 per cent of food and drink marketing seen by young people was for junk food, with many children encouraged to buy the product in response to the advert.

Councillor Richard Kemp, deputy chair of the LGA Community Wellbeing Board, said: “We urgently need to take action to tackle child obesity, and giving councils powers to control marketing of junk food, which is one of the major causes of this epidemic, will help us to tackle the issue.

“We are not saying every council should be using these powers, but it gives local authorities the option of working with parents and schools to ban junk food advertising near schools, nurseries and children centres, if they feel it can make a difference and improve children’s health in their town or city.”