Thank you for contacting me about childhood obesity.
I am very pleased that the Government is committed to implementing its promise to ban pre-9pm TV advertising of food high in sugar, salt and fat across the UK. Recognising that a growing number of young people consume media online, I am also delighted that the Government will also restrict paid-for-advertising online.
The Health and Care Act 2022 introduced the 9pm advertising ban and the policies are due to come into effect on 1 January 2024. The measures had been intended to come into effect in 2023 but, due to a delay to the Health and Care Bill receiving Royal Assent, as well as the Government's assessment that industry needs more time to prepare, they have been postponed by a year.
The Government intends to consult on TV and paid-for-adverts in the coming weeks. I am confident that such measures will help us to reach the goal of halving childhood obesity by 2030 and help adults to reach a healthy weight, which is so important to tackling Type 2 Diabetes and other preventable health conditions.
The Government's Levelling Up White Paper also recognised the role of obesity in driving poor health outcomes in communities across the UK, and gave a commitment to reduce the gap in life expectancy by between local areas where it is highest and lowest by five years.
The Government has once again reaffirmed these commitments to halve childhood obesity as part of the new National Food Strategy.
Thank you once again for your campaigning on this vital issue, and I appreciate you taking the time to contact me.