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Healthy London Partnership’s response to the Mayor’s TfL ‘junk food’ advert ban

23rd November 2018

City Hall has today confirmed the Mayor of London’s plans to restrict the advertising of food and drink that is high in fat, sugar and salt across Transport for London’s (TfL’s) advertising estate from February 2019.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Jemma Gilbert, director of transformation and prevention lead at Healthy London Partnership, said:

“Congratulations to the Mayor of London for showing leadership and taking direct action to tackle London’s childhood obesity problem head on by banning unhealthy food adverts on the Transport for London network. Through the Great Weight Debate earlier this year, Londoners told us in no uncertain terms that childhood obesity is a major concern for them and that they want to see changes that will help children and young people in London lead healthier lives.

“This policy decision highlights the successful partnership working to tackle London’s most complex health and care issues.  London’s Health and Care Devolution strategy in November 2017 first outlined the aspiration to ‘reduce [the] targeting of food and drink adverts where these can cause health harm’. London’s Great Weight Debate underpinned further evidence for this aspiration, recognising Londoners’ concerns with the abundance of advertising of high fat and sugary food and drink.

“We know that there isn’t just one silver bullet to tackling childhood obesity and there is more work to do to clean up the food environment in London. We recognise Londoners face daily temptations through targeted marketing, in shop displays and price promotions on unhealthy foods that if consumed frequently are detrimental to their health. The evidence shows that this results in rising levels of diabetes, obesity and other conditions that place a growing pressure on the NHS. However, through partnership working we are taking positive steps to help make it easier for all Londoners to lead healthier lives.”

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