British Liver Trust welcomes watershed on junk food advertising

Posted on: 24th June 2021

The UK Government has announced today that it plans to introduce a 9pm TV watershed on the advertising of foods which are high in fat, salt and sugar, and it will also bring in restrictions on advertising these foods online. This will come into force at the end of 2022.

The British Liver Trust has been working with the Obesity Health Alliance to campaign for these measures to be adopted. We also responded independently to the Government’s consultation on this, so we’re delighted to see that many of our recommendations have been accepted.

The UK is experiencing an obesity epidemic. 60% of UK adults now living with obesity or overweight – a figure that has continued to grow for decades.

Obesity is a major risk factor for many health conditions, including non-alcohol related fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is set to become the biggest cause of late-stage liver disease and liver cancer by 2030.

"The nation’s waistband is expanding."

Vanessa Hebditch, Director of Policy and Communications at the British Liver Trust, says: “The announcements made today are a big step in the right direction towards creating a healthier environment for everyone.

“The nation’s waistband is expanding. We all know that eating too much food that is high in fat, salt and sugar is bad for our health but we also know how hard it can be to make those healthier choices. Junk food advertising and marketing are hugely influential in this, especially when they're aimed at children.

“We’re really proud to have been part of the Obesity Health Alliance’s successful campaign and we’re delighted to see that many of our recommendations have been accepted in the Government’s announcement. However, obesity is a complex issue and there are many other factors at play. We’ll continue to work with the Obesity Health Alliance to create a healthier nation in the future.”