Junk food advertising back on the agenda

The government is coming under renewed pressure to introduce new regulations to control the advertising of junk food in a bid to tackle obesity.

Public health remains a top priority for ministers, who are looking at ways to improve the nation’s diet and reduce demand on the National Health Service (NHS).

This morning it emerged that lobby group Sustain has secured the backing of more than 100 consumer bodies calling for an outright ban on junk food adverts.

“For the sake of children’s health, statutory controls are urgently required,” said Sustain project manager Charlie Powell.

Tessa Jowell, the culture secretary, will make a speech later today in which she is expected to stop short of announcing a ban.

She is widely tipped to back a voluntary code of conduct aimed at taking a more responsible approach to junk food adverts aimed at children.

Ofcom, the new super regulator responsible for regulating TV and radio advertising, is currently conducting its own investigation.