The United Kingdom is again delaying a ban on early-evening TV and online advertising for unhealthy food, drawing protests from consumer advocates.
For the third time, UK officials are pushing back the start of a measure that would prevent advertising for foods high in fat, salt and/or sugar from hitting British screens before 9 p.m. The point is to keep the ads away from children as much as possible. The latest deadline for the measure had been January 2024, but the Department of Health and Social Care announced earlier this month that implementation has again been delayed until October 2025.
The government said it took the action after consultation with industry groups about the possible impact. British consumer advocates are complaining that there has been plenty of consultation already, and the government is just dragging its feet at this point.
“The government’s shameful decision to delay these vital measures means that people living in the most deprived areas will continue to be pushed towards unhealthy options, further entrenching the health inequalities that exist in rates of type 2 diabetes and obesity in England,” the head of Diabetes UK told the Guardian.