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Home Publications The potential impacts of banning television advertising of HFSS food and drink before the watershed

The potential impacts of banning television advertising of HFSS food and drink before the watershed

External publication

Advertising of high fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) food and drink during children’s television programmes has been banned in the UK since 2007. The Government has recently announced that they will consult on further advertising restrictions for products high in fat, salt and sugar on TV.

The effects of further restrictions on health outcomes will depend on a number of factors: how exposure to advertising is affected, how firms respond in terms of prices, reformulation and other behaviours, how these changes affect the purchase and consumption decisions that households and individuals make, how all of this varies across individuals and how reductions in consumption affects health outcomes.

In this report we discuss the potential effects of banning all advertising of HFSS food and drink before the watershed and how this will depend on each of the channels mentioned above, highlighting where there is uncertainty about the magnitude of the effects.

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Observation
The government has launched a consultation on whether to ban the advertising of food and drink high in fat, salt or sugar on television before the 9pm watershed. But the impact of such restrictions would depend on how firms change their advertising strategies following the ban.