I understand people’s concerns about obesity, particularly among children, and its impact on long term health..
In 2018, a Soft Drinks Industry Levy was introduced, following a two-year transition period which gave producers the option to reduce the sugar in their drinks in order to avoid this new taxation. I am pleased that this has already yielded results, with sugar levels per 100ml falling by 11 per cent between 2015 and 2017 across those products which were to be subject to the levy. The levy is expected to accrue £485 million in additional revenue between now and 2020, which is being invested in pupil health schemes..
In March 2019 a public consultation was launched about further restrictions on advertising for food high in fat, sugar and salt. Since restrictions were introduced a decade ago, exposure has been reduced, but more can be done to target foods that contribute most to children's intake of calories. These proposals would introduce a 9pm watershed for advertising these products.
The UK already has some of the toughest advertising restrictions in the world, but it is only right that the Government consults on further action on TV and online advertising for products that are high in fat, salt or sugar as part of the approach to tackling childhood obesity.