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Overhaul Of The Way Food Is Promoted To Children

Agency Agrees Plans For An Overhaul Of The Way Food Is Promoted To Children

The Board of the Food Standards Agency today agreed a series of far reaching proposals to redress the imbalance of children's diets.

Sir John Krebs, Chair of the Food Standards Agency, said today:

"Children are bombarded with messages that promote food high in fat, salt and sugar. The evidence shows that these messages do influence children. Eating too much of these foods is storing up health problems for their future. The Food Standards Agency wants healthier choices to be promoted to children.

"Everyone has a responsibility to act and our action plan is a challenge to all with a part to play: not just parents and children, but government, schools, the food and advertising industries and the celebrities and sporting heroes children look up to. Just because this is a complex issue doesn't mean we can't do anything about it.

"All parents are concerned about the health of their children; doing nothing to help them is not an option."

The Action Plan commits the Agency to a range of initiatives, including:

developing advice and guidelines for the food industry on reducing amounts of fat, salt and sugar in products specifically aimed at children, and agreeing guidelines on the labelling of these products to enable consumers to identify more easily and accurately what are healthier options

monitoring food industry uptake of the Agency's advice and guidelines, and publishing the results for consumers to see what progress is being made

working with schools to push healthier foods higher up the menu. Targeting vending machines in schools to increase the range of healthier options

calling on celebrities to help redress the imbalance by promoting healthier food choices. This includes sports stars and sponsored events

working with broadcasters to encourage them to follow BBC Worldwide's initiative to increase the association between high profile characters and cartoons on TV and healthier foods

advising the broadcast regulator Ofcom, and the advertising industry, that action to address the imbalance in TV advertising of food to children is justified.

Notes to editors

Following on from the Board's views and discussions this morning the drafting of the action plan will now be finalised after which it will be published for consultation.

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