The UK moved a step closer towards protecting children from junk food advertising in broadcast media when, in a May 2021 speech, The Queen mentioned the government’s commitment to restrict junk food advertising before 9pm on television and a total ban online.
The UK Government continues to take steps to address obesity rates, also announcing plans to restrict the promotion of high fat, salt, and sugar food and drinks in the retail environment from April 2022.
There are also developments in outdoor advertising. In 2019, Transport for London introduced a healthier food advertising policy for their property. This policy has created interest across the country with, most recently, Bristol – the first council outside London — announcing a policy to restrict the marketing of food and drink products high in fat, sugar and/or salt on council-owned spaces, assets, and events.
These policies are well established as ways to address rising obesity rates. Restrictions on unhealthy food marketing should also be part of Australian obesity prevention efforts. UK has taken the lead, it’s time for Australia to join them.