FSA expected to call for junk food ad ban

In collaboration with the Press Association

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has rejected Ofcom proposals on advertising junk food and is expected to call for a ban on advertising before the 9.00pm watershed.

The media regulator had suggested three sets of proposals that would limit junk food advertising during TV programmes aimed at young children but not ban them outright.

In recorded minutes of a FSA meeting released online, board members described the measures as "watered-down half-hearted" options and "extraordinarily disappointing".

Ofcom had earlier ruled out a ban on advertising following broadcasters' complaints that they would lose up to £140 million in lost revenue.

The government has estimated that 14 per cent of all children are clinically obese.

Obesity is one of the largest avoidable causes of cancer and is closely linked to many other health issues such as heart attacks, strokes and diabetes.

Consumer group Which? backed the FSA position.

"We hope that Ofcom can now accept that its approach is completely flawed and put children's health first," chief policy adviser Sue Davies told the BBC.