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Today we celebrate the announcement of a 9pm watershed!

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After months of campaigning by our incredible Youth Board, the Prime Minister has today (27th July) announced tough new measures on how and when junk food can be advertised.

As part of his widely anticipated Obesity Strategy that aims to tackle Britain's health crisis, Boris Johnson committed to protecting the health of millions of children by restricting what they see on their TV screens and online.

Bite Back 2030 Co-Chair Tasha Mhakayakora, aged 19 from London, says:

Last week we wrote to the government asking them to put the health of children and young people at the heart of British politics and today they have done that. COVID-19 has shown all of us why change must happen in our food system, to make it healthier and fairer for everyone. For decades advertisers have been making stars of unhealthy food, shining the spotlight on cheap, low nutrient products and encouraging us to overeat. That had to stop and we would like to thank Boris Johnston for taking such a tough and commendable stance. 

Bite Back 2030 Ambassador and male fashion model David Gandy says:

This is fantastic news for the health of children and young people. As someone who has expressed concern that brands and people in the public eye, need to think carefully about what is being promoted to children, today is a brilliant step forward. I commend the Prime minister and Department of Health for listening and for the measure to include online advertising, which is so important if we are serious about this matter.

There is still more to do and Bite Back 2030 will continue to campaign on the issue until all the measures announced today are implemented.

 
Photo credit: Cancer Research UK Policy Twitter account

The measures go further than many had expected, demonstrating a dramatic shift in the position of the Prime Minister on tackling childhood obesity.

There will be a ban on showing HFSS (High in Fat, Salt and/or Sugar) foods on television and online before 9pm and a consultation on introducing a total ban online. 

The UK has some of the worst rates in Europe with one in five primary aged children being overweight or having obesity.

CEO of Bite Back 2030 James Toop says:

For too long teens everywhere have been manipulated into eating food that is bad for them. During the day, 50% of food adverts have been for HFSS food, rising to 60% from 6-9pm. Today the end is in sight for this relentless marketing; if and when these measures are implemented in full Britain will become a world leader at tackling childhood obesity. The new regulations will force companies to make stars of healthy options - and use their favourite sports stars and movie heroes to encourage them to eat food that is good for their health, not bad. 

Until now, junk food companies have spent over £143 million on advertising every year; that’s almost 30 times the £5 million that had been spent annually by the Government on healthy eating campaigns. 

Bite Back 2030 campaigner Rebecca Morgan from Whitby says:

Last year Bite Back put out a brilliant but terrifying film showing the influence junk food advertising has on us. We all think we are immune but we are not and that’s why today’s move is such a big step in protecting the health of all of us. Young people growing up in the UK are up against a flood of unhealthy food, at school, on our highstreets and on our screens, food that industry spend millions promoting to us. Now we hope the focus will shift away from junk and on to healthier alternatives. That has to be a good thing!

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