Updated 14 November 2003
junk food ads could be banned
Junk food adverts could
be banned from television in the UK until after 9pm under new government plans.
They are worried that people living
in the UK are too unhealthy and want to encourage them to eat better food.
It was thought that the adverts were
going to be banned during children's television, but lots of kids watch TV till 9pm so the
ban will last longer.
Some foods are also going to get
special labels to show how much of them people should be eating.
Healthy stuff like fruit and veg will
get green labels while food packed with salt, sugar and fat will be given a red label as a
At the moment shops aren't going to
be forced to use them, but some big supermarkets have already said they're happy
to stick to the idea.
The TV ban will stop adverts for
things like burgers and crisps being shown, but some breakfast cereals and even fish
fingers could be off the menu as well.
The plans also include ideas to try
and get children to think more about how to be healthy.
junk food adverts be banned?
food adverts could be banned from television in the UK until after 9pm under new
We want to know if YOU think
junk food ads should be banned.
Do you think that by banning the ads it will help in the battle against obesity?
Or do you think that people who want to eat junk will still eat it anyway?
Whatever you think, e-mail and let us know.
food is great! I know it is unhealthy, but it tastes better than vegetables.
Stefan, 10, Margate
I think banning junk food ads is a good idea but I don't think it will work, because when
you go out you will see junk food places anyway.
Nicole, 12, Paignton
Yes, because junk food is fattening and it is not healthy.
Ammar, 10, Rochdale
I think that it's easy to ban the adverts but it's not as easy to get rid of obesity. The
banned adverts may stop some people becoming obese, but what are you going to do about
kids who are already obese? To be honest, I think that it's a very small step!
Fiona, 10, Sheffield
The government should make junk food more expensive.
Thomas, 13, Middlesbrough
I think that they shouldn't ban unhealthy adverts, instead put on healthy adverts.
Emily, 14, UK
I think the government should definitely ban junk food ads because healthy food is much
more tasty. It doesn't help that children have the choice of eating unhealthy food in
Harry, 12, Carmarthen
I think that instead of banning the adverts and concentrating on little things, the
government should think carefully about prices. I don't eat that much junk food at all,
but if I were to go into a fast food place and look at the price list, the fruit would be
more expensive than a bag of chips. Maybe they need to spend their time looking at these
things rather than the adverts.
Rachael, 14, London
I think we shouldn't ban the adverts on junk food because it's OK if you only have little
amounts and if we do eat too much we should deal with it and suffer the consequences.
Emma, 13, Perth
I don't think ads should be banned because its the person's choice if that's what they
want to eat. Ads are used for an excuse for obesity.
Melissa, 14, London
I think that people need to get a grip. If they can't decide things for themselves then
that is saying a lot. It's called self discipline and people who eat this kind of food all
the time can't simply pass the blame on to somebody else. I know it's harsh but it really
is their problem.
Rubinda, 14, London
I think that the ban on junk food adverts before 9pm isn't going to help because some
parents buy their young children junk food and teenagers go shopping all the time so they
are passing the junk food restaurants and are being lured in by the adverts in the
Vanessa, 11, Stockport
It's really hard to stay thin in the modern world with fast food that is practically
addictive. Even though we're not being force fed it's still the company's responsibility
to be sensible. I SAY BAN THE ADVERTS!
Alice, 13, Chedder
I think that fast food is OK for a treat but my mates eat it all the time cos it's cheap,
the adverts come on when we're watching TV and it always looks so good! As long as you eat
loads of veg and stuff, it won't hurt you to eat a burger now and again.
Tessa, 13, Warwick
I think that this ban is a good idea and so is the proposed traffic light idea. In fact I
think it's great that we've got this
2 year campaign to crack down on obesity and the media is the most influential way of
bringing it across.
Anika, 15, Leicester
No, I don't think junk food should be banned. It's an individuals choice to eat junk food,
and plus eating junk food is not the problem, it's the fact that no one exercises
afterwards which causes obesity. Maybe the government should start putting their efforts
into schemes to make people exercise more.
Katy, 15, London
Why ban the adverts? It's not their fault that people like to eat more! It's not like it
says on the ads that 'eat loads of food and get overweight!'
Safiya, 12, Dewsbury
I think junk food ads should be banned, but because the ads have been around for ages,
everyone already knows the all brand names.
Ryan, 14, DerrI think the ban will not make a difference because you can't control the
amount of TV some children watch after 9pm.
Lauren, 14, London
I think that banning the ads is a good thing because most little children who are
influenced by junk food don't watch TV after 9 pm.
Roxanna, 13, London
Even if the government do ban junk food adverts, there is no escaping it. Nowadays, there
are fast food places anywhere you go.
Usman Ali, 14, Wishaw
Junk food isn't bad for you if you don't have too much. It's like with salt. You actually
need some salt, just don't be stupid with it.
Laura, 13, Glossop
I think junk food shouldn't be band because it is nice but you should only have it once a
Doneishah, 9, Mitchum
I think that the adverts should be banned, because the government moan about the rise in
Obesity and say that children are eating too much junk food, yet they promote Fast food
restaurants on the television, with famous people and toys that come free with the
children's meals. I think that it is right to ban the adverts.
Rebecca, 13, Hornchurch
i don't see why as it's the kids' and parents' responsibility to make them eat healthy. i
eat quite a lot of junk and I'm healthy.
Mark, 13, Stevenage
i think this ban won't work as most of my friends stay up after 9 o'clock anyway. Plus
junk food advertisers will find better ways to advertise like in teenage and children's
magazines which me and my friends read a lot of.
Sabrina, 13, Cardiff
I don't think you should ban the junk food adverts, but what
I do think is that they should put healthy adverts up, to persuade people to eat
Lara, 14, UK
People are already obese so banning adverts wont make a difference.
Stuart, 12, Nottingham
I don't think the ban is the best idea, but what will work is healthier food being more
widely advertised and it being more affordable at schools. And less celebs on fast food
adverts, to many people look up to them.
Richard, 15, Cheltenham
I don't think junk food adverts should be banned, however, I do think there should be less
of them. In a way junk food is like drugs - you become addicted. Regular exercise is
important but so is what you eat.
Imogen, 12, Stockton-on-Tees
I think junk food adverts should be banned, and schools should be given the equipment they
need to help people lose weight, and stay that way.
Edward, 10, Reading
I don't think junk food adverts should be banned because kids are still going to eat fatty
foods at home, school and at restaurants anyway. And I think that as long as we get good
exercise it shouldn't matter anyway.
Kimberley, 13, Dover
I used to love junk food and the adverts almost forced me into buying it. I became veggie
for a year and am now healthy and have lost weight.
Jamie, 12, Middlesbrough
I think junk food adverts are one of the main reasons so many people are overweight in the
UK, but lack of exercise plays a major part in this too.
Francesca, 10, Lechlade
I don't think junk food advertising should be banned because I eat junk food and so do my
friends, but we're not fat because we do a lot of sports as well - so it's about getting
the balance right!
Lauren, 13, London
I don't think that junk food adverts should be banned, as they do not influence the way we
eat junk food. I weigh 15 stone and I know I am over weight but it is not due to the
Darren, 15, Woking
Banning advertising won't change anything, as almost every town has one or two McDonalds
or Burger Kings, which people go to a lot. Anyway, it's not junk food's fault for obesity,
we've all been warned - some people just made the wrong decision, or didn't think.
Becky, 12, Northwich
I think people eat junk food because it tastes good not because of advertising. Big
companies don't have any idea what children notice about an advert.
Jenny, 12, Dundee
People should have the choice about what they eat but I think that some adverts are aimed
at younger children and they just follow that and they end up addicted to junk food.
Hayley, 13, Sunderland
I don't think they should because it doesn't make a difference if they advertise it or
not, we will still eat it and most kids do get lots of exercise anyway.
Emma, 10, York
Junk food ads are a big problem because people are conned into thinking that these foods
are great and whereas cigarettes carry health warnings, junk food doesn't. Also, children
don't get enough education about sport and healthy eating, and school canteens always have
things like pizza and chips, which isn't helping.
Verity, 13, Aylesbury
I think it's your own fault if you eat to much or don't exercise as much as you should -
if you do these things I think you should be able to eat whatever you want as long as you
stick to keeping healthy.
Daniel, 12, Scunthorpe
I think that it doesn't really matter if they ban junk food adverts, because people can
make up their own minds up if they want to get fat or not! It is like saying to stop
smoking, but people know they could get cancer but still do it!
Amy, 13, Wellington
I don't think junk food averts should be banned because it won't stop us from eating junk
food. I think the government should put up more exercise adverts and to advertise healthy
food more. I love exercising like doing swimming but because I go to school 5 days a week
by the time I get home it is too late to go swimming so I can only go on Saturday and
Justine, 13, Sunderland
I think junk food should be allowed as long as people eat the right amount, don't go
over-board and exercise
Liam, 11, Northwich
I think we should stop advertising junk food and start advertising healthy food.
Hannah, 12, Birmingham
Sometimes junk food adverts do make me want to buy it, but
I think that fruit prices should be put down, because it is expensive and that's why I
don't buy it.
Kelly, 15, Ashford
I don't think the adverts should be banned because they aren't the ones provoking us to
eat junk food, they're just offering. It should be us deciding on whether we want to eat
healthily or not!
Alysha, 13, Ilford
I think that adverts are not to blame. If people want to eat junk food - then they will,
and no one is to stop them. Lack of exercise is increasing by the day and if you're not
willing to keep fit then prepare to be overweight.
If advertising is banned it won't make much of a difference to the people that eat junk
Chris, 11, Shipley
I think it should be banned because the more junk food is shown the more you just want to
Toni, 10, Bristol
I don't think that junk food should be banned but I do think that they should bring down
the amount of salt and sugar in the products. I also think that to buy healthier is more
expensive so people should cut the prices on them.
Fay, 12, Burwell
I don't think it will make a difference. I watch adverts like that day after day, but I
hardly ever eat it. I think exercise and self-control on your own part is the only way to
Sarah, 11, Bridgnorth
I think they should ban junk food adverts or at least put them on when adults watch T.V
not kids or children will get their parents to buy the food and they may get fat.
Helena, 10, Hexham
I think banning the ads won't make any difference - people will still by chocolate whether
it's advertised or not!
Anna, 12, Southampton
The adverts shouldn't be banned...people are just more lazy than they used to be, which
means lack of exercise, leading to people getting overweight.
Ross, 14, Herts
I think they should let us eat what we want. it's our lives. even f they do stop the adds
they can't stop us eating junk food. girls worry about there wait and are careful. so
what's the harm?
Hannah, 12, Gillingham
I think advertising should be allowed. they are not responsible for people getting fat
because people have a choice whether to eat fast food or not. people are responsible for
getting themselves fat!
Daniel, 14, Aylesbury
I think that fast food adverts should be banned or at least reduced in number. There are
so many of them that children can't help but eat junk food when it's in their face
Emma, 10, London
Junk food is not the sole cause of the increasing obesity of children in this
country-parents, schools and kids themselves are as much to blame as any food group.
Anything in moderation is never a bad thing but when kids are encouraged to eat more and
exercise less the problems become severe.
Jeela, 14, Bristol
I don't think that junk food adverts should be banned because at the end of the day, the
company who produce the food have to make a profit, and advertising is the only way
really. People do decide what they eat when it comes down to it, and children in today's
world do actually realise what they are eating believe it or not!
Keira, 16, Northolt
I don't think it would make a change. It's now too late. many children have grown up with
junk food and has become a habit. For them adverts wouldn't make a change.
Jenny, 13, Preston
Even if junk food adverts are banned children will still know what they're missing out on
and it won't change a thing. Exercise is the out of being overweight.
Rachel, 13, Enfield
I think that even if they took junk food ads off people would still buy and eat junk food.
I think that when people say "what you eat is what you are" I think it's just a
myth. My sister and I eat sooooo much junk and we don't put any weight on. I think it's
just the way your body handles your food. If people know there is a danger of them
becoming overweight and don't help themselves then that's their choice.
Samantha, 15, Reading
I don't think people should worry about anyone who eats junk food. It's their choice if
they want to eat it so let them.
Bronwyn, 12, Horsham
I think it should not be banned because it is just food and it is up to us if we eat it or
More and more children are getting obese, it's time we started taking our health seriously
and look to the future!
Egbert, 11, Cambridge
No I don't think they should be banned. I mean junk food is great! I always eat it but I
also eat my veg and fruit on a Sunday! Just because it is on TV doesn't mean people have
to buy it! If I told everyone to jump off a cliff would they?
Natalie, 14, Wales
Please ban it, I know it's bad for me but I can't resist!
Toni, 15, Kent
Yes, they should be banned. It costs the NHS millions to fix the mess junk food causes.
Little kids don't eat vegetables anymore and it's all about sweets and junk food!
Claire, 11, London
I'm all for banning the junk food adverts because kids will want to buy it. They will not
just become unhealthy but also obese and it's not even real food! There are so many added
chemicals, sugars and salts and this will lead to so many problems in later life.
Jennie, 14, Stamford
Soon, they'll be trying to ban mobile Phone ads, it's PATHETIC! These companies have a
right to advertise what they sell, or how are they going to get customers?
Nancy, 11 ,Tunbridge Wells
I just love junk food I don't care that I'm fat 'cos it's not what you look like that
counts it's who you are on the inside. Besides junk food makes me feel happy! I would much
rather eat JF that rabbit food.
Fatima, 12, London
Totally. I'm a vegan and those sort of adverts make me feel sick. It's even worse that,
because other kids see them, they're going out and eating the meat. Not only do I think
eating meat is wrong, but for them it's really fatty. At this rate the average weight in
England will be 20 stone. We can't go on like this. Ban those adverts NOW!
Hannah, 12, Milton Keynes
I think they shouldn't be banned, just because it's on the telly, it doesn't mean everyone
has to buy junk food
Emma, 13, Lincoln
The government are being way OTT. They just need to let us decide for ourselves if we want
to eat junk food or not.
Helen, 11, London
If it makes people feel better they can advertise salads - it doesn't really matter if
things are advertised or not!
Emma, 10, Dunstable
Ohmigod! What r u going to say next that all kids r restricted to eat Brussels sprouts
from now on!? why can't u ppl stop being so over protective let us enjoy our lives - Soon
we're going to be adults and will be going on diets and stuff this is going way over the
top chill out.
Yousra, 12, Exeter
We're young and we're not young for very long and while we are growing we should b able to
eat what ever we want and if we become fat well that's our own fault for eating too much
Katie, 12, Thornton Heath
I don't think we should ban junk food adverts or how am I supposed to know what's new?
Rachel, 9, York
No Way - I love junk food, I think it is up to the buyer what they eat, if they don't want
to get fat then eats less junk food! Simple as
Simon, 14, Shrewsbury
What? I don't know what the government are up to, but it's about time that children decide
Fouzia, 10, Birmingham
Everyone's becoming too protective over us can't they see we know what's right and wrong!
We know we shouldn't eat too much junk but banning the adverts is way over the top!
CECH, 12, Ayrshire
Junk food is an important part in our lives because it gives us energy and everybody needs
a tasty treat at sometime!
Lulu, 11, St Neots
Junk food ads should be banned coz junk food is very unhealthy and can raise cholesterol!
Becci, 13, Swindon
A Pizza Hut - A Pizza Hut - Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut. McDonalds - McDonalds
- Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut.
That's all the places kids love to have dinner or tea at. The Fast Food Rockers sang that.
That's advertising and it's in the Top 10. I rest my case.
David, 11, Darlington
That's stupid, next you will be saying lets ban adverts for cars because it influences
Paul, 14, Manchester
No way! What's the big deal, anyway? Kids are not going to stop eating junk food just
because the ads are banned! That's ridiculous! Don't people have more important things to
worry about besides junk food?
Holly, 13, USA
Even though people have a choice whether to choose healthy food, ads ARE bound to
influence our decisions. So whilst folks do have a say in what they eat, they get blinded
Sammi, 15, New York
I don't think the adverts should be banned, but should only be shown after a certain time.
For example between children's shows and be limited to a certain number of adverts per
Lucy, 13, Freshwater
NO!! I love junk food!!
Caitlin, 12, Hemel Hempstead
No- next they'll be banning adverts for fizzy pop!
Sam, 12, Manchester
I think that junk food is just really easy to eat on the go, so if you're shopping, you
just pop into a burger bar - it's quick and cheap. If it was that easy to get healthy
food, more kids would eat it, but advertising probably has an effect on this too.
Anna, 14, Edinburgh
I don't think that they should be banned, but there should be a limit to how many junk
food adverts are on per day.
Cathy, 13, Cardiff
I think they need to be banned - they are a bad influence on us kids.
Louise, 15, London
I hate junk food and agree that there are too many adverts for such food on the
Beth, 12, Cardiff
They don't influence kids as much as people think they do.
Sarah, 13, Northern Ireland
I agree with Keisha, it's up to other people what they eat, it's their choice. But they
should just stop and think how bad it is for them first. It's themselves they're damaging.
Hannah, 11, Stockport
I think that it doesn't really matter, because if it wasn't advertised people would still
buy the junk food. Nowadays almost every town has a fast food restaurant that you're bound
to know about.
Chris, 12, Dundee
I don't care - I don't eat junk food anyway. It's gross!
Keisha, 12, Leicester
Junk food should be banned. It would help in the battle of obesity because people wouldn't
have the encouragement to eat fatty food and also it is very unhealthy.
Mary, 13, London
Junk food should not be banned. It should just be considered carefully with healthy food
Max, 12, Carmarthen
I think it is a good idea that the government has decide to take this approach. It is a
shame that the obesity problem had to get to this stage before anything was done about it.
Sumera, 12, Coventry
Every one knows what's good for them and what's not. So if you eat fast food it's your own
fault not TV.
Eddy, 12, Sydenham
I think people should look on packets. We are in charge of what we eat.
Emma, 11, Wakefield