Nick Smith MP Labour MP for Blaenau Gwent
Blaenau Gwent MP Nick Smith has said that Government plans to clamp down on junk food advertising are long overdue.
Mr Smith has been a long-time campaigner for action against adverts which promote foods high in fat, sugar and salt, and has consistently raised the issue in Parliament.
In February, responding to Mr Smith raising the issue, Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg MP said that people “do not want the nanny state.”
This week the Government has announced a six-week consultation into an outright ban on online junk food advertising.
In July it was announced that there are also plans to ban junk food adverts on TV before the 9pm watershed.
The Government has said the intention is to implement both bans at the same time, before the end of 2022.
Mr Smith said: “These measures are long overdue and, while it is frustrating that it has seemingly taken a pandemic to kick the Tories into action, I am glad that plans are now in motion.
“Children living with obesity are more likely to be obese in adulthood and, according to Cancer Research UK, obesity now causes more cases of common cancers than smoking.
“It is vital that children are given the healthiest start in life to avoid problems later on.
“The Government has an important role to play in tackling the obesity crisis. It must do all it can to discourage the promotion of unhealthy foods and to create an environment which nurtures and encourages healthier lifestyles.”
Mr Smith welcomed the current plans as a positive first step and challenged the Government to go further.
“It is now two years since the Government launched its childhood obesity plan and, until now, its proposals had stalled entirely,” he said.
“I would like to see more of the plans which were initially set out implemented as swiftly and effectively as possible.”
To take part in the consultation, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/total-restriction-of-online-advertising-for-products-high-in-fat-sugar-and-salt-hfss