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Children 'bombarded by junk food' ads on family shows

From BBC - November 28, 2017

Children are seeing up to 12 adverts an hour for high-fat, high-sugar foods during primetime family TV programmes such as The Voice, research has found.

Children were "bombarded" by adverts for pizza, burgers and biscuits, a team at Liverpool University found.

Experts are demanding a 21:00 watershed on "junk-food" adverts, saying current guidelines are "failing children".

A government spokesmen said advertising restrictions in the UK were "among the toughest in the world".

Current rules, introduced in 2007, restrict the advertising of high-fat, high-sugar foods during children's TV programmes or any programme where 75% of the audience will be children.

But health bodies point to the thousands of children watching programmes not specifically targeted at children.

They say 49% of children's viewing takes place between 18:00 and 21:00.

The research - commissioned by the Obesity Health Alliance - looked at adverts during:

The study found most food and drinks adverts during these programmes were for products high in fat, sugar and salt.

One February episode of ITV's The Voice, watched on average by 708,500 children during the study period, featured 12 adverts for food and drinks high in fat, salt or sugar.

This included adverts for takeaway pizza at the start and end of every commercial break due to a sponsorship deal with a pizza manufacturer.

An episode of Hollyoaks, broadcast in the same week on E4 and watched on average by 140,225 children across the study period, featured nine such adverts in 30 minutes.

Like The Voice, Hollyoaks is also currently sponsored by a takeaway brand.

'Loopholes'

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