A ban for online junk food adverts targeting children is to be introduced in a bid to tackle obesity and type 2 diabetes.
The new rule, which is being introduced by the Committee on Advertising Practice (CAP), will also be applied to print media, adverts in the cinema and social media.
The restrictions, which are targeting media aimed at under-16s, will be brought in from July 1 2017.
Chairman of CAP, James Best said: “Childhood obesity is a serious and complex issue and one that we’re determined to play our part in tackling. These restrictions will significantly reduce the number of ads for high fat, salt or sugar products seen by children.
“Our tough new rules are a clear demonstration that the ad industry is willing and ready to act on its responsibilities and puts the protection of children at the heart of its work.”
Any commercial promoting high fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) food or drink products will be banned from adverts that are seen by children.
The decision was made following a public consultation conducted by CAP and after research which showed young people aged between five and 15 spent an average of 15 hours online every week.
Obesity among children has become more prevalent with recent figures suggesting a third of primary school kids are overweight.
Malcolm Clark, coordinator of the Children’s Food Campaign, said CAP had “finally listened to the voices of parents and health professionals”.
He added: “But CAP has failed to learn the lessons from industry’s exploitation of loopholes in TV advertising regulations.
“Just as many of the TV programmes most watched by children aren’t covered by the rules, so it looks like many of the most popular social media sites won’t be either; neither will billboards near schools, or product packaging itself.”

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