Experts call for ban on junk food ads to combat soaring child diabetes

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London, May 17 (ANI): A group of more than 100 diabetes experts has called for laws to ban ads of junk food that target children.

The experts from Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh said that this was the best alternative for combating the rising cases of Type 2 diabetes amongst youngsters - which is caused by obesity.

They said that these ads should not just be banned in print, but in billboards and TV too.

In January 2008, a total ban on adverts for unhealthy food and drink products around TV programmes for under-16s came into force.he group also called for tighter regulations of the food, drink and catering industry following their meeting last week.

"Rates of obesity and diabetes are increasing at alarming rates and pose one of the most serious health challenges of this time," the Scotsman quoted Dr Scott Ramsay, lead organiser of the event, as saying.

"In response to this, diabetes experts from across the UK have come together to call on the Scottish and UK governments to demonstrate greater leadership in tackling this crisis.

"In particular we believe that the lessons from effective legislation on smoking should be used to promote healthier diets, increased physical activity and to inform transport and planning policy.

"This should involve tighter regulation of the food and drink industry and the extension of restrictions on 'less healthy' food and drink advertising in children's television programmes to all forms of advertising aimed at children," Ramsay added.

However, Ian Barber of the Advertising Association said there was little evidence that advertising was a main driving factor behind obesity. "Advertising might influence which brand you choose, but there is very little evidence that it drives consumption," he said.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said: "Television advertising is reserved to Westminster, but the Scottish Government has introduced a range of measures to improve children's diets and encourage them to be more active." (ANI)

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