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Limiting TV ads could help reduce childhood obesity • Earth.com

According to a new study by University of Cambridge.

The World Health Organization reports that childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century, and its prevalence has increased at an alarming rate.

The UK is aiming to halve childhood obesity by 2030, and the government is considering the possibility of imposing restrictions on TV advertising for HFSS products between 5.30am and 9.00pm.

To investigate, the researchers analyzed data on children’s exposure to HFSS advertising during these particular hours. The team also reviewed previously published information on the association between exposure to HFSS advertising and children’s calorie intake.

The study found that limiting television advertising would make a substantial contribution to reducing childhood obesity.

The researchers found that if all HFSS adverts in the UK were removed during hours when children are usually awake, 3.7 million children in the UK would see an average of 1.5 fewer HFSS adverts per day. The subsequent reduction in calorie intake could reduce the number of obese children by 40,000 and the number of children considered overweight by 120,000.

“Measures that could reduce exposure to TV advertising of less healthy foods could contribute significantly to reducing childhood obesity,” the researchers wrote. However, they also noted that the study has some limitations and takes full account of all factors that would affect the impact of this policy if implemented.

“Our analysis shows that the introduction of a 9pm watershed on TV unhealthy food advertising can make a valuable contribution to protecting the future health of all children in the UK and help improve health children from less affluent backgrounds,” said Dr Oliver. Myton.

“However, children are now consuming media from a variety of sources, and increasingly online and on-demand services, so in order to give all children the opportunity to grow up healthy, it is important to ensure that that this advertising does not simply move to the 9-10 p.m. slot and to online services.

The study is published in the journal OLP Medicine.

By Chrissy Sexon, Terre.com Personal editor