The ban by the British government on advertisements to under-16s comes in force on the 1st day of 2008. The aim of this measure is of course to promote healthy eating and counter growing childhood obesity.
The new rule is an extension of the measure already in place for under-10s. In addition to curb television commercials for food and drink products with high fat, salt and sugar content, the new measures will specifically ban commercials for junk food and drink around all programs of particular appeal to children under the age of 16.
Official data shows that half of the Britons will be obese in 25 years if current trends are not halted. Furthermore, 86 percent of men will be overweight in 15 years and 70 percent of women in 20 years.
Nevertheless, the new measure does not satisfy some campaigners who feel that a total ban on junk food advertisements should be implemented instead in order to get the full effect. They believe that it is necessary to take urgent action right now to help people, especially children, stay away from the less healthy, less happy and shorter life that obesity leads to. It is known that obesity will bring many health issues including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and high blood pressure to the body.
A new 100-million-pound program has also been launched in October last year by British Prime Minister with an aim to increasing the number of hours of physical education in schools from 2 to 5 per week.
While it is too early to see how this new ruling can really help stop the obesity epidemic, the new measure initiated by Britain indicates that they have realized the seriousness of the epidemic.
Perhaps other countries, for the sake of their younger generation, should follow suit before it is too late!