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A push in the UK to ban cartoon characters from junk food packaging to help obisity in children

The proposed ban comes after figures have revealed that one-in-25 children aged 10 or 11 in England were now classed as ‘severely obese’.

Some MPs have called for the ban of licensed TV and film characters’ which are often used to promote foods high in fat, sugar or salt.

Most would agree that in Australia and New Zealand the problem of childhood obesity is growing. However the UK's Advertising Association’s chief executive Stephen Woodford claims that the root causes of childhood obesity are linked to a whole range of factors, including socio-economic background, ethnicity and educational attainment.”

TV chef and campaigner Jamie Oliver claims that using friendly-looking and appealing cartoon characters to ‘peddle rubbish’ puts the ‘future of the NHS’ at stake if the government does not act now to prevent this type of subtle advertising from continuing.

A study performed in 2010 has found that 50% of children ‘say that food from a package decorated with a cartoon celebrity such as Shrek tastes better than the same exact product from a plain package’.

A ban on TV advertising of such products after 9pm also be introduced.

(This story is a precis from the original story published in the UK Evening Standard paper)

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