The advertisement of foods high in fat, sugar or salts to children under 16 may soon be banned online in the UK to help tackle the growing obesity problem.
The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has opened public consultation on the matter to extend the current ban on TV to online media.
According to reports, one in five children will be obese by the time they finish primary school, and is one of the reasons for the ban.
“Too many children in the UK are growing up overweight or even obese, potentially damaging their health in later life and imposing a high cost on society,” James Best, the chairman of CAP, explained to Diabetes Times.
“Advertising is just one small factor in a very complex equation but we believe we can play a positive part in addressing an urgent societal challenge."
While the ban is currently in place on television, Ofcom research has found that nearly 100% of young teens spend more time online.
Commenting in the proposal, The Obesity Health Alliance said: “Constant exposure to unhealthy food and drinks on TV, radio, the internet, social media, in magazines, and for some even at school makes it very difficult to children and their families to make healthy choices and greatly influences the food they eat.”
“Obese children are more likely to be obese as adults, which in turn increases their risk of developing serious health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, stroke and cardiovascular disease."