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TMCNet:  junk the celeb junk food ads ; Stars selling crisps and cola 'fuel kids obesity' [Sunday Mirror (England)]

[June 22, 2014]

junk the celeb junk food ads ; Stars selling crisps and cola 'fuel kids obesity' [Sunday Mirror (England)]

(Sunday Mirror (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) TV adverts that use stars to promote junk food should be banned, says a report requested by the Health Secretary.

Experts claim crisps and sugary drinks commercials like Gary Lineker's Walkers campaign and Beyonce's Pepsi promos help fuel childhood obesity.

Now Action on Sugar has recommended new laws to stop the "targeted marketing" of Britain's youngsters.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt asked the pressure group for ideas to tackle a crisis that has left one in three youngsters overweight.

The report, seen by the Sunday Mirror ahead of today's release, says: "There must be a total ban on advertising of ultra-processed foods high in saturated fats, sugars and salt, and sweetened soft drinks." That would signal the end for Pepsi, Coca Cola and fatty crisp ads.


And the report says stars should not be used in these ads stating: "Celebrity endorsement is wrong and gives the wrong message, particularly to children." Action on Sugar's proposals also include banning junk food firms sponsoring football teams and sports fixtures.

SHAMEFUL The group's science director, cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, said: "It is quite shameful that the food industry continues to spend billions in junk food advertising targeting children.

"They even manage to associate sugary products with sport.

"A child doing an hour of PE a day would put it all to waste if he or she ended up gorging on burger and chips and a packet of crisps washed down with a sugary drink. One has to run half a marathon to burn off those calories. It's time to dissociate junk food and sport." Wayne Rooney had a Pounds 600,000-a-year deal with Coca Cola until 2011 while David Beckham was the face of Pepsi from 1998 to 2008.

Action on Sugar also wants a sugar tax to limit sweetened soft drinks, added sugars cut by 40 per cent and reduced fat in ultra- processed foods.

Group chairman Prof Graham MacGregor, said: "Obesity in children leads to premature development of cardiovascular disease, stroke and heart attacks." He said sugar reduction targets should be set this summer with "no delays, no excuses".

ben.glaze@sundaymirror.co.uk (c) 2014 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

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