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'Ban junk food advertising in all broadcasts that appeal to young'.

JUNK food advertising should be banned during all TV programmes that are appealing to children, global health leaders have said.

The World Medical Association (WMA) said that children are spending more time than ever in front of screens as it called for more to be done to tackle the growing problem of childhood obesity.

The WMA, holding its annual assembly in Taiwan, said advertising on social media as well as traditional media plays a role in increasing demand for unhealthy foods.

The global health body has set out a series of recommendations setting out how governments can take action to help curb the trend.

In a new statement, the WMA said: "Many advertisements are in conflict with nutritional recommendations of medical and scientific bodies.

"TV advertisements for food and drink products with little or no nutritional value are often scheduled for broadcast hours with a large concentration of child viewers and are intended to promote the desire to consume these products regardless of hunger.

"Advertisements increase children's emotional response to food and exploit their trust. These methods are also used in non-traditional media, such as social networks, video games and websites aimed at children."

It added: "Given the scientifically proven link between the extent of media consumption and adverse effects on body weight in children, the WMA recommends that the advertising of non-nutritious products be restricted during television programming and other forms of media that appeal to children.

"Regulators should be aware that children access programmes designed for adults, and ensure legislation also limits marketing associated with such programmes."

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Oct 25, 2016
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