Expand the Advertising Watershed on Junk Food to 9pm

I have today called for the expansion of the watershed as it relates to junk food.

There is no question over the causal relationship between junk food advertising to children and increased childhood obesity.

Childhood obesity poses a significant challenge to future health of our population, by taking meaningful steps now we can reduce the amount of damage being done to young lives.

The current watershed of 6pm was a step in the right direction, unfortunately junk food producers have consistently sought to circumnavigate these regulations, exploiting loopholes around exempted programs like ‘The X Factor’, ‘Coronation Street’ and sporting events, all of which have a high child viewership.

I believe a prudent and responsible step to take would be to expand the watershed until 9pm. This will reduce the number of junk food adverts children are exposed to and in turn reduce their impact.

However, to tackle obesity we must take a multifaceted approach, by also reducing the current advertising cap of 25% on high fat, salt and sugar products (one in four ads), to 10%, it would further impact the ability of junk food producers and more accurately reflect the nature of healthy, balanced diet.

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