Food Editor Caitlin Dickinson visited Cappadocia in the Jewellery Quarter, to try some Turkish cuisine for Valentine’s Day.Written by Caitlin Dickinson on 14th March 2018
Proposed Junk Food Advertising Bans
Sophie Rashley discusses the idea of banning junk food advertising before watershed, and whether it’s necessary for adult viewers
Recently, there’s been increasing anxiety over the rising levels of obesity in the UK. The NHS revealed a 2017 study, stating that in 2015, 68% of men and 58% of women were overweight or obese. Moreover, in the same year, 1 in 3 Year 6 children were either overweight or obese. Consequently, there have been a number of calls for the Government to take measures against this rising problem of unhealthy eating in the UK.
“Celebrity endorsements of junk food will also be banned
Despite Theresa May initially disregarding health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s wish to restrict ‘junk food’ advertising, May has apparently changed her view on the matter and is currently making plans to implement a ban on advertising unhealthy food before the watershed of 9pm. At the moment, regulations are already in place preventing adverts for unhealthy food appearing during children’s TV programmes. However, this will be extended to family shows, as early as the summer. Additionally, celebrity endorsements of junk food will also be banned.
Cancer Research UK has played a large part in campaigning for this advertisement ban. They have been trying to spread awareness that obesity is the second biggest cause of cancer (after smoking), stating that 7/10 millennials will be overweight or obese between the ages of 35 and 44. Additionally, Jamie Oliver has also called on Sadiq Khan, they mayor of London, to bank junk food ads on the Tube.
“Maybe it is time to say RIP to the Milky Bar Kid and other beloved childhood food advert campaigns
But how big of an impact will these restrictions have on obesity? It’s hard to predict how much advertising affects our need to buy unhealthy food items, and it is understandable that advertisements for fast food like McDonalds should not be shown in the advert breaks of children’s TV shows due to children being easily impressionable. However, do adults need the same censorship? And where do we draw the line? I barely drink fizzy drinks but I still wait for the Coca Cola Christmas advert each winter. How will we know when Christmas is coming now? Yet, the power of advertising is unquestionably strong, and it’s true that fast food adverts should be clamped down on, especially if they are targeted at children. Maybe it is time to say RIP to the Milky Bar Kid and other beloved childhood food advert campaigns.
“However, do adults need the same censorship? I barely drink fizzy drinks but I still wait for the Coca Cola Christmas advert each winter
It has to be remembered that fast food is generally cheaper and easier for lower income families. The NHS states that, in 2015, 26% of children living in the most deprived areas were overweight or obese in comparison to 12% of children living in the least deprived areas. Therefore, although restricting advertising is likely to help prevent people from craving unhealthy food, the bigger problem is that unhealthy food is cheap and easy. Consequently, the government needs to focus on making healthy food more accessible to poorer people who may be working long hours or more than one job, and thus don’t have the time to cook a healthy homemade meal each night.