London’s mayor has responded to a recent public consultation with “tough action” by moving towards making Londoner’s diets more healthy, banning junk food advertising on all TfL controlled transport. Any companies selling foods that are high in sugar, fat or salt will be affected by the ban to combat what the mayor has referred to as the “ticking timebomb” of child obesity as per the BBC.
The onus will also be put on food and drink brands to promote healthy products, rather than simply their brand alone. The recent consultation had 82% of 1500 online respondents backing the ban, as the numbers of overweight or obese children in the capital continue to rise.
Mayor Khan said “Child obesity is putting the lives of young Londoners at risk and placing huge pressure on our already strained health service,”
His decision mirrors a similiarly implemented one in Amsterdam earlier in 2018, which is reported to have had a positive impact thus far. The move looks set to bring to an end 13m of the 147m Tfl Generates through advertising, as this is the amount the food companies currently spend with the local government body.
Jamie Oliver, a campaigner for healthier eating among children, has welcomed the move referring to it as an “amazing” response to Londoners voicing their desire for a “transport system with healthier ads and messages”.
However the response hasn’t been completely positive, with the Advertising Association saying it would have “little impact on the wider societal issues that drive obesity“.