NEARLY 30 per cent of year six children in Bromsgrove are obese or overweight according The British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) latest figures.
These statistics mean 270 children in the town will be leaving primary education an unhealthy weight and carrying excess pounds into adulthood increases the chance of developing heart disease later in life. The BHF is now campaigning for a ban on junk food advertising before 9pm, as part of the Government’s Childhood Obesity Strategy.
Currently food companies are allowed to broadcast their products during prime time TV shows such as The X Factor which BHF found had 13 junk food adverts in just one episode last year.
Ofcom figures showed 1.2million children aged between four and 15-years old watched the show at what is deemed the peak time for youngsters, between 7pm and 8pm.
Mike Hobday, director of policy at the BHF, said: “It’s worrying that so many children in Bromsgrove are obese or overweight.
“We mustn’t allow food companies to continue to exploit a failing regulatory system that allows them to bombard TV screens with junk food adverts at the times when the highest numbers of children are watching TV.
“We need to protect young people against the sophisticated marketing techniques of junk food advertisers to help tackle the obesity crisis which threatens the heart health of future generations.”
Visit www.bhf.org.uk/junkfood for more information.
JOIN THE DEBATE: What do you think? Would junk food advertising before 9pm have an impact on cutting child obesity levels? Or do you have ideas about other methods which you feel should be introduced to help youngsters and their parents beat the bulge? Write to the editor at: firstname.lastname@example.org