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30th May 2018

Tony the Tiger and the Milky Bar Kid could be banned

MPs want to ban adverts targeted at children to reduce obesity

Oli Dugmore

MPs want to ban adverts targeted at children to reduce obesity

MPs are calling for a blanket ban on brand characters used to promote foods high in fat, sugar or salt.

Familiar faces like Frosties’ Tony the Tiger, the Milky Bar Kid and the Honey Monster could all be banned.

It comes after official figures revealed a third of children are overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school.

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 an attempt the tackle childhood obesity rates.

Giving evidence the select committee, Jamie Oliver said cartoons and superheroes should not be used to “peddle rubbish.”

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.

Dr Sarah Wollaston, Conservative MP and chairwoman of the committee, said: “Children are becoming obese at an earlier age and staying obese for longer.”

“Obesity rates are highest for children from the most disadvantaged communities and this unacceptable health inequality has widened every year since records began.

“The consequences for these children are appalling and this can no longer be ignored.”

A Department for Health and Social Care spokeswoman said: “Childhood obesity is a complex problem, decades in the making.

“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.”