While the causes of childhood obesity are multi-factorial, there is a wealth of evidence showing the detrimental impact HFSS advertising has on driving unhealthy food choices. As a result of this evidence, rules are in place that aim to prevent children from seeing this type of advertising. However, these rules do not reflect children’s patterns when watching television, and therefore fail to adequately protect them from exposure to HFSS advertising.

A study conducted by our Board Member Dr Emma Boyland and Dr Rosa Whalen, from the University of Liverpool, shows that the majority of food and drink adverts shown during TV programmes popular among kids could not be broadcasted during children’s TV time-frame – this means hundreds of thousands of children are being bombarded by HFSS ads every time they watch their favourite programmes.

Food and drink ads dominate advertising during family viewing time. However, the type of food they promote does not reflect a healthy diet, but advertises takeaway meals more than twice as often as any other type of food, fruit and vegetables barely represented.


Click here to download the full study.