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Evidence mounts for crackdown on junk food marketing

Research evidence showing that adolescents burn fewer calories when resting than previously thought reinforces the need for urgent action on the marketing of junk food, according to the Faculty of Public Health (FPH).

Responding to the research, published by the journal Nature today (8 September 2016) and led by a team from the University of Exeter, FPH Vice-President Professor Simon Capewell said: "This study is yet further confirmation that the Government risks failing a generation of children and young people. It confirms that teenagers are particularly vulnerable to cheap calories being relentlessly marketed at them.

"Adolescents sitting around using their smartphones and tablet computers are bombarded with junk-food marketing – while using even fewer calories than we previously thought.

"There is thus an even greater need to improve children’s diet and protect them from the heavy marketing of junk food and sugary drinks.

"Last month’s government strategy on childhood obesity confirmed the duty on sugary drinks but was otherwise a disastrous missed opportunity. We need much tougher regulation around the marketing of junk food to children – particularly on TV and online.

"FPH believes that health policy MUST now follow the evidence. Just how much more evidence does Theresa May need? The Government urgently needs to avert an obesity and diabetes crisis that will otherwise create misery for millions of children and adults, and threaten the sustainability of the NHS."

Written: 08/09/2016 , last modified: 08/09/2016