Diabetes professors support junk food advert ban

Posted by ap507 at May 23, 2016 10:30 AM |
Junk food advertising aimed at children has “no place in a fit and proper society”

Issued on 23 May 2016

Junk food advertising aimed at children has “no place in a fit and proper society”, according to a leading diabetes expert in light of a further clampdown.

The Committee of Advertising Practice has launched a consultation on introducing new restrictions on the advertising of food and soft drink products to children.

Proposals include introducing a ban on online adverts promoting foods which are high in fat and sugar targeted at youngsters, with such adverts already banned on television.

Professor Melanie Davies CBE and Professor Kamlesh Khunti, who both lead the Leicester Diabetes Centre, an international centre of excellence in diabetes research, education and innovation, are supporting the move.

Professor Khunti, Professor of Primary Care Diabetes & Vascular Medicine at the University of Leicester and also a GP, said: “Children and families do need protection from clever advertising designed to encourage the consumption of unhealthy junk food. People need to make healthy choices otherwise they are putting themselves at risk of a host of illnesses linked to obesity, including Type 2 diabetes.”

Professor Davies CBE, Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester, added: “Type 2 diabetes, which is linked to lifestyle, is a serious condition which can lead to devastating complications, including amputation, blindness, kidney failure and stroke. Junk food advertising aimed at encouraging children to eat unhealthily has no place in a fit and proper society.”

Up to 30 per cent of children in the UK are obese or overweight, putting them at higher risk of cancer, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other life-threatening illnesses in later life.

Professor Khunti took part in research published in 2014 which found the proximity of fast food outlets to where people live may be linked to a risk of Type 2 diabetes and obesity.
 
The researchers warned that their findings, based on a study of over 10,000 people, had important implications for diabetes prevention and for those granting planning permission for fast-food outlets.

A new alliance of organisations fighting obesity has outlined 10 priorities for government, retailers and health professionals on the back of the proposals.

The Obesity Health Alliance, a coalition of over 30 leading national health charities, campaign groups, and Royal Medical Colleges, has also criticised the proposals from the Committee of Advertising Practice.

In a statement, the group said: “Although the proposals in the consultation launched today by the Committee of Advertising Practice acknowledge the need for tighter controls, the overall recommendations fall short of what is needed to tackle the relentless marketing of unhealthy foods and drinks seen by children.”

Leicester Diabetes Centre is a partnership between the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the University of Leicester, based at Leicester General Hospital.

Notes for editors:

·       For further details, to arrange an interview or more photographs, email oliver.jelley@ojpr.co.uk

·       The Diabetes Research Centre is based at the Leicester Diabetes Centre.

·       The Leicester Diabetes Centre is an international centre of excellence in diabetes research, education and innovation and is led by Professor Melanie Davies and Professor Kamlesh Khunti.

·       Hosted at Leicester General Hospital, the Leicester Diabetes Centre is a partnership between the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the University of Leicester, working with the city and county Clinical Commissioning Groups. It is a leading applied health research unit committed to improving the lives and care of people with diabetes and other long-term conditions.

·       For more information about the Leicester Diabetes Centre, visit http://www.leicesterdiabetescentre.org.uk

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