According to reports a ban on junk food advertising across London’s public transport system will be introduced next year.
The capital’s mayor Sadiq Khan has confirmed the ‘tough action’ initiative, which is part of the London Food Strategy to reduce child obesity in the city by 2028.
Promoting sugary drinks, chocolate and burgers will be prohibited across the entire transport network, including the Tube, bus stops and the London Overground.
The restrictions also outlaw goods deemed ‘less healthy’ by Public Health England, such as salted nuts.
However, fast-food chains will still be allowed to promote their healthier products, such as salads, as long as they are low in fat, salt and sugar.
Speaking of the move’s impact on reducing obesity, Mr. Khan told the BBC: ‘Reducing exposure to junk food advertising has a role to play in this – not just for children, but parents, families and, carers who buy food and prepare meals.’
Popular High-Street chains, such as Burger King, KFC and McDonald’s, will also be unable to ‘outsmart’ the campaign by simply advertising their logo.
But promoting unsalted nuts, raisins and sugar-free drinks will be permitted.
Professor Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer, celebrated the news, saying, “Child obesity remains a concern to me, particularly the persistently high levels amongst London’s most disadvantaged communities.”
The Advertising Association has said the move will have ‘little impact on the wider societal issues that drive obesity’.
Its chief executive Stephen Woodford claimed the UK has ‘the strictest rules in the world when it comes to advertising high-fat, salt, and sugar foods’, which already prevent under 16-year-olds from being targeted.
But in a poll of 1,500 Londoners, 82 percent said they backed the proposal, according to City Hall.
London has one of the highest childhood obesity rates in Europe, with almost 40 percent of children aged 10 and 11 being overweight or obese.
This comes after ministers announced plans to push on with initiatives that force all restaurants and takeaways to put calorie labelling on their menus, despite widespread opposition.
The Department of Health said would help the battle against obesity and type 2 diabetes, and may come into play from March next year.