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Tony the Tiger and Honey Monster could be banned

By James Pepper, news reporter
Tony the Tiger, the Milky Bar Kid and the Honey Monster should be banned from promoting sugary snacks, MPs have said.
The health and social care select committee has called for a ban on "brand-generated characters or licensed TV and film characters" as well as junk food adverts before the 9pm TV watershed in attempt the tackle childhood obesity rates.
A third of children are overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school, according to official figures.TV chef and campaigner Jamie Oliver told the committee that cartoons and superheroes should not be used to "peddle rubbish" and warned Theresa May to act now as "the future of the NHS is at stake".The committee's latest report into childhood obesity also recommends that supermarkets be forced to remove unhealthy snacks from the end of aisles and checkouts, and that junk food price promotions be restricted.
Tony the Tiger and Honey Monster could be banned

Image:
Nestle's seventh Milky Bar Kid, Antony Eden, nine, with a fistful of the white chocolate bars in 1988
The government should also give local authorities more powers to "limit the proliferation of unhealthy food outlets in their areas" and be able to limit junk food and drink billboard advertising near schools.Meanwhile, social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube should reduce children's exposure to inappropriate advertising and marketing, including advergames, according to the report.A recent report from Public Health England showed that the food industry had failed to meet a sugar reduction target set by the government.Retailers, manufacturers, restaurants, cafes and pub chains were told to cut 5% of sugar by August 2017. But the report showed that food manufacturers and supermarkets only cut out 2% over the first 12 months of the sugar reduction programme.MPs called for the government's next childhood obesity plan to set out further "fiscal measures" under consideration following the sugar tax on soft drinks.
They also suggested the tax be extended to milkshakes.
Tony the Tiger and Honey Monster could be banned

Image:
Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall giving evidence to MPs on obesity earlier this month
"Children are becoming obese at an earlier age and staying obese for longer," said Dr Sarah Wollaston, Conservative MP and chairwoman of the committee."Obesity rates are highest for children from the most disadvantaged communities and this unacceptable health inequality has widened every year since records began."Commenting on the report, Dr Max Davie, officer for health promotion for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: "Just this week, the scale of the country's obesity problem was propelled back into the spotlight as over 22,500 10 and 11-year-olds are classed as being severely obese, so this report is extremely timely."A Department for Health and Social Care spokeswoman said: "Childhood obesity is a complex problem, decades in the making.
Tony the Tiger and Honey Monster could be banned

Image:
MPs have called for a ban on characters such as the Honey Monster to be banned from advertising unhealthy food.
"That's why we have the most ambitious plan in the world to tackle it, our sugar tax is funding school sports programmes and nutritious breakfasts for the poorest children, and we're investing in further research into the links between obesity and inequality."
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Stephen Woodford, chief executive of the Advertising Association, said the UK had "among the strictest rules in the world" on advertising products high in fat, sugar and salt to under 16s."We remain of the view that measures such as a 9pm watershed would be ineffective in tackling the complex root causes of childhood obesity which are linked to a whole range of factors, including socio-economic background, ethnicity and educational attainment."
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