- Reuters, Thursday, March 30, 2006 11:45 AM
A British regulatory group has proposed new rules for fighting childhood obesity that include prohibiting TV spots for food and drinks targeted to kids. The group, known as Ofcom, presented three
proposals aimed at addressing obesity in kids, which has increased from 9.6 percent of children aged 2 to 10 in 1995 to 15.5 percent in 2002, according to the Health Survey for England. One rule would
ban food and drinks ads during TV shows made specifically for children, or that appeal to children of nine years old and under. It would cover a broad range of programming such as "The Simpsons,"
among other shows. An alternate proposal would use the same criteria but would apply only to junk food high in fat, salt or sugar. A third option would place volume limits on the number of food and
drink ads shown per hour at any time when children are likely to be watching. Also, all three proposals would include content restrictions, such as banning celebrities and licensed characters from ads
directed at children under the age of 10. "With childhood obesity, the case for targeted action has been made; but which action--and how this should be implemented--is the focus of this final stage of
consultation," Ofcom Chief Executive Stephen Carter said.
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