To Help Combat Child Obesity London Plans to Ban Junk Food Advertisements on Public Transit

In an effort to stop the “ticking time bomb” of child obesity, the mayor of London intends to ban junk food advertisements across public transport in the British capital.

A statement from Mayor Sadiq Khan was issued by City Hall on Friday,  announcing the new measure; he expects feedback before it is put into place. The move is an effort to slow the unhealthy habits of Londoners and their children especially, as figures from City Hall show that 40 percent of 10- and 11-year-old kids are either overweight or obese, marking one of the highest rates in Europe.

After announcing his new proposed measures Khan wrote on his Twitter page that he is determined to do all he can to tackle this issue with the powers he has and help Londoners make healthy food choices for themselves and their families. Adding that they know junk food ads create pressure on families and that children are particularly susceptible.

As reported by London City Hall, there is a disproportionate spread of childhood obesity in different parts of London, as a young person in a less affluent borough like Barking and Dagenham you are nearly twice as likely to be overweight when compared to a place like Richmond-Upon-Thames.

Khan told BBC Radio that they need to make sure those families have access to nutritional and healthy food but aren’t disproportionately exposed to adverts for unhealthy foods. He cited similar advertising rules put in place in Amsterdam as being successful in combating obesity.

Khan has not suggested a ban on specific brands or companies from advertising on London’s Underground train system, or famous red buses or any other service run by Transport for London. Instead, he is pushing for a ban on ads that show food or drinks high in fat, sugar or salt, as he said to Sky News.

Mike Bloomberg, former mayor of New York, applauded Khan’s move, writing on Twitter that he is a great example for other cities looking to fight the global epidemic of obesity. TV chef and anti-obesity activist Jamie Oliver also announced his support of Khan, calling his initiative “incredible” and a “massive message” in favour of healthy eating on LBC radio.



Image Credit: Jakkrit Orrasri / Shutterstock


Become a Citizen