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  • TV junk food ad ban – waste of time?
  • tomd
    Full Member

    How keen are people on the governments new restrictions on TV junk food advertising? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-57593599

    It’s good to see something start to change but I wonder if it’s missing the point, especially for younger kids. I don’t think my kids watch any TV ads at all but when they go to the shops & restaurants they can see junk food with their favourite cartoon characters on it. That starts some mega pester power and is really tough to deal with as a parent.

    So junk food in plain brown packets would be my suggestion. To hell with the trademarks etc. Oh and a 100% tax on takeway food to fund something pointless like a new royal yacht or colossal bronze statue of Johnstone straddling the Thames.

    mattyfez
    Full Member

    I approve of a massive Johnson straddling the thames.. As long as it was in a crouched position ‘tea bagging’ the water.

    More seriously it probably won’t be very effective, but I guess it’s at least a step in the right direction.

    Freester
    Full Member

    It’s another headline grabbing non-story.

    For example. Have you seen the sponsors for the 100 Cricket tourney? All crisps and sweet manufacturers. I don’t think the games are played after the watershed.

    johndoh
    Free Member

    Even a 1% decrease in childhood obesity would be a great start however I think there could be more done here. For example, all junk food adverts have to spell out a warning for adult consumption ie ‘Oi! Parent – don’t let Fat Jimmy eat Big Macs all day, he’ll only get fatter – and it will be your fault.’

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    Have I got news for you pointed out that it will be great for protecting the kids from the 3 McDonald’s, 2 KFCs and a Burger King they go past on their way to school. Or words to that effect

    lorax
    Full Member

    It has taken decades for the obesity epidemic to develop, and it will take decades to reverse it. No one action will turn it around, and many interventions will only make a small contribution on their own, and then only within particular population groups. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be put in place in order gradually to turn the tide.

    You proposal for plain packaging is part of a range of things that is likely to come to pass eventually, but that our politicians aren’t yet ready for. Just as a smoker in the 1960s would have found it hard to imagine workplace smoking bans actually happening, so we may find it hard to envisage a number of radical responses to the junk food industry coming to pass – it is the smaller steps that happen first. There will be many such steps along the way, and this is one of them.

    This paper by colleagues of mine lays out some of the ways in which the food and other industries use some of the tactics you describe.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Promoting active travel would have a far greater impact (not just on obesity but also on decarbonisation, climate change, pollution…) but that obviously involves Doing Something Unpopular (like restricting car journeys) so much better to just tinker around the edges with stuff like this.

    Be interesting to see if it affects adverts for Deliveroo, Just Eat and others which all feature McDonalds, KFC and so on.

    Trimix
    Free Member

    It is a waste of time, sadly.

    These businesses use clever marketing to sell crap, they are good at it and make shed loads out of it. This is a tiny bump in the long straight road to profit, they will not notice.

    But its these businesses that do the lobbying with unlimited funds and professional arm twisting. So, fat kids will get fatter, fat profits will get fatter.

    Perhaps we need some no-win-no-fee lawyers targeting the fat kids and offering to sue their parents for allowing them to get fat. This may change behaviour.

    tomd
    Full Member

    @Lorax, thanks for that article very interesting.

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    I’m sure there’s plenty of smaller actions that would be more effective – active travel, addressing the perceived time and cost barriers to preparing healthy meals, making sure kids and parents know how to prepare healthy meals.

    Also needs parents to be reminded that they are responsible for what their kids eat, and saying “no” on a consistent basis from a young age won’t kill their little darlings the way obesity might

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    I suppose the obvious work around is for the likes of Maccy D’s and Burger king to only show their healthy options in adverts…

    Obviously it doesn’t matter that they show a McSalad or a Gluten free, Vegan whopper. the adverts only exist to keep the punters aware of the brands.

    I’m certainly in favour of a ban on advertising unhealthy foods, but I’m also sure we’ll all remember where to go to obtain our trans-fat fix without adverts reminding us of specific products…

    using the empty ad-break air time to encourage better eating habits and more exercise would be a wise use of government funds IMO…

    hels
    Free Member

    I would go further – ban “Kids Menus” in restaurants. Have you ever looked at them? I am always horrified, they are always reformed brown fried things. This idea that kids need special different lazy unhealthy food is vile, and I would add a weird British concept that enables a lack of vegetable and fruit eating.

    lorax
    Full Member

    Glad you liked it @tomd 🙂

    You might also like this Twitter thread from last summer that covers most of the other things mentioned here…

    piemonster
    Full Member

    It’s not a waste of time, it might not make much difference by itself but as part of a broader large scale shift it would be worthwhile.

    mefty
    Free Member

    Not as bad as minimum alcohol pricing, but still pointless.

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    would go further – ban “Kids Menus” in restaurants. Have you ever looked at them? I am always horrified, they are always reformed brown fried things. This idea that kids need special different lazy unhealthy food is vile, and I would add a weird British concept that enables a lack of vegetable and fruit eating.

    Ever tried to ask for a half portion of an actual meal for a kid.

    They look at you like you have three heads and suggest that she would like sometthing from the kids menu….. Quite often we take our own food to avoid the brown fried processed bleugh.

    reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    It’ll go the same way as the big announcement that all supermarkets were going to remove sweets from the till displays, be forgotten about after a few weeks. Add in the workarounds like cookeaa mentions and it’ll have little effect. Plus what constitutes junk food? The details are needed but as usual with this lot are sadly missing.

    Still should go ahead though as even a small change can make a difference.

    lorax
    Full Member

    Nothing short of food rationing – which no one advocates – is likely to lead to an unequivocally demonstrable impact on obesity prevalence. Expecting direct causal pathways within something as big and messy as the food and physical activity systems is missing the point. Things like marketing bans may not achieve much on their own, but they do make a contribution, and the fact that a Conservative government is prepared to take on commercial interests in this way represents a significant advance.

    And there’s very good evidence in favour of MUP

    richardkennerley
    Full Member

    What about Instagram accounts that just show pictures of things like massive loaded burgers, huge stacks of breakfast pancakes, cakes, chocolates, ice cream, sweets.

    Just look at #burger on Instagram.

    Edit – or check this out

    https://instagram.com/frankencreations?utm_medium=copy_link

    Kids are far more likely to see that than an advert during coronation Street.

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    What about Instagram accounts that just show pictures of things like massive loaded burgers, huge stacks of breakfast pancakes, cakes, chocolates, ice cream, sweets.

    Cost and time is also a barrier.

    If those photos inspire folk to cook from scratch and see what all goes into their food . Take the time and effort then I’m all for it as they are unlikely to make gourmet burgers for every school dinner…….unlike the Mac Donald’s or Burger King that appears to be many school kids dinner lots of the time.

    It’s cheap , low cost convenance food that is being targeted here.

    Issue is Mac Donald’s do do some ok food for on the go – but rarely is that the headline photo promotion on the tv it’s nearly the double calorie mc stack burger…

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    Also let’s not pretend that the vast majority of pub/restaurant /faux restaurant meals are any better.

    yourguitarhero
    Free Member

    Ahahahaha

    As if anyone under the age of 50 watches TV. Or even adverts.
    Though I can see why the stale, male and pale folks in the government might not realise that.

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    As if anyone under the age of 50 watches TV.

    Dunno plenty of folk were watching the Wendy ball….

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    Ever tried to ask for a half portion of an actual meal for a kid.

    Go to an Italian place (like an actual Italian place) and they will sort them out, always worked for us.

    What about Instagram accounts that just show pictures of things like massive loaded burgers, huge stacks of breakfast pancakes, cakes, chocolates, ice cream, sweets.

    You mean like Pimp My Snack did about 15 years ago? Reeks of effort for most folk.

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    These businesses use clever marketing to sell crap

    …like TV adverts in prime time!

    If TV ads didn’t work, McDonald’s wouldn’t put them on the telly. If banning them was ineffective, advertisers wouldn’t be moaning about a ban.

    stumpyjon
    Full Member

    Trouble is like most things in moderation there’s nothing wrong with a McDonalds, i quite lkke the odd one from time to time, I’ve had a few since Christmas and still lost 10kg. It’s not like smoking which is unequivocally bad for.

    FWIW I don’t have an issue banning the ads but maybe a bit of focus on self restraint might help. People still make the ultimate decision about what goes in their mouths and there are very few people who don’t know lots of fast food is bad for you. Point in case being my extremely overweight ex-teacher 62 year old neighbour who had a stroke 3 weeks ago and blood pressure of 280 over 180 (I didn’t know you could be that high without dying), her eye sight is now shot and she seems to have suffered some sort of brain damage. Her lifestyle directly caused her issues.

    dudeofdoom
    Full Member

    TBH just ban tv advertising 🙂

    PMK2060
    Full Member

    I think the High Fat, Sugar & Salt (HFSS) legislation that comes into effect in April next year will have a bigger impact. Supermarkets will no longer be able to offer multibuy deals or do end of aisle promotions on unhealthy products.

    mefty
    Free Member

    And there’s very good evidence in favour of MUP…

    Considering the purpose of Minimum Pricing was to cause problem drinkers to drink less and that report concludes, inter alia, that low income high purchasing homes have not changed their habits, this is quite the reverse of good evidence. It has just made poorer drinkers poorer. As the Russian joke goes

    “Bad news son, the price of Vodka has risen”, said the father. “Does that mean that you will drink less”, asks the son.
    “No, you will eat less.”

    chewkw
    Free Member

    As long as they ban Haribo ad I am all for it.

    Cougar
    Full Member

    I would go further – ban “Kids Menus” in restaurants. Have you ever looked at them? I am always horrified, they are always reformed brown fried things.

    Quite often the kids’ menu appeal to me more to me than the main menu. I’d quite like to go to a posh restaurant and order potato dinosaurs and beans.

    You’re right though. Smaller kids may need smaller portions, but they don’t need different meals.

    Cougar
    Full Member

    As long as they ban Haribo ad I am all for it.

    For the second time today I find myself agreeing with chewkw.

    I will, of course, delete my account immediately.

    chewkw
    Free Member

    For the second time today I find myself agreeing with chewkw.

    I will, of course, delete my account immediately.

    Bet you feel a bit dirty now agreeing with me … LOL!

    Cougar
    Full Member

    Dude, don’t make it three for three.

    mt
    Free Member

    @lorax thanks for linking that article, really useful. You could interchange tobacco for oil or plastic’s industries, also the anti climate change lobby (I know thats oil but not exclusively).
    As soon as I hear an industry person say “its complex” or “its down to individuals”, I know the industry in question is lying to protect its self and its profits, no matter what the human cost.

    I’d recommend “Super Size Me” the documentary thats as relevant today as when it was made about the fat/obese debate. McDonalds hated it.

    Also for those on here who think “its complex” or “its down to individuals”, you are the product of successful lobbying (as am I) of the industries that only have their own interests at heart. Have a listen to this:
    BBC Radio 4 – How They Made Us Doubt Everything
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000l7q1

    its depressingly illuminating and fascinating to learn how we are being lied to constantly, you might as well have “we are stupid” tattooed on our foreheads. Thats how we are being treated by household name companies and whole industries.

    onehundredthidiot
    Full Member

    @hels absolutely stop beige kiddies menu.

    It’s not just food though there are kids in schools (a lot of them) who won’t drink water and are in the caffeinated energy drink cycles of dose and crash. But actually do nothing so massive calorie intake no expenditure.
    Active transport is an answer advertising meh.

    lorax
    Full Member

    Thanks @mt. A few more recent papers you might like by colleagues of mine (and me too on one of them):

    The Science for Profit Model
    Big food and the World Health Organization
    A public health approach to gambling regulation

    They’re all playing the same game…

    lorax
    Full Member

    @mefty I don’t want to divert from the core theme of this thread by taking it on to the specifics of MUP, but I have a different interpretation of the overall findings of that Anderson et al paper. However, it was foolish of me to link to a single paper on a single intervention, as (a) one should almost never read too much into a single paper and (b) it then requires a whole load of additional discussion to place it in the appropriate context.

    Bringing the discussion back to the OP’s point, which is about the extent to which single interventions contribute to complex system problems, there is overwhelming evidence for price elasticity of demand for alcoholic drinks (along with pretty much everything else, apart from some Veblen goods), and changing pricing signals leads to changes in behaviour. This is entirely appropriate when it corrects a market failure by internalising harmful externalities. It may be associated with some regressive outcomes, but alcohol related harms are also regressive, and plentiful other tools exist to correct for any economic harms. As I and others have said above, one shouldn’t expect to fix a big, messy problem with a single response, but that doesn’t mean it can’t make a useful contribution.

    mt
    Free Member

    @lorax, thanks for the further links. Spot on with the “they’re all playing the same game”

    That BBC link I gave helped me be more understanding of how we are mislead and a little more forgiving of those that fall for all the lies. the background history of the way industries lie to us was interesting. We consistently fall for it, including governments and politicians. Every time its the same play book.

    What I really find insidious, is the way that educated (doctors, scientists etc) people are slowly drawn into defending industries by having there personal positions compromised, initially without them noticing (they get groomed i think), they then have to defend a position they would not necessarily have taken. The pharma industry is particularly good at this.

    I’m starting to sound a bit tin foil here but having worked in industry for years I have seen how easy (initially innocently) it is to defend the indefensible.

    lorax
    Full Member

    Spot on @mt – see the response (apologies for the paywall) to our paper from last year on ‘Dark Nudges and Sludge in Big Alcohol

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 49 total)

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