This site is intended for health professionals only

Kids' food ads spending revealed

Government research has shown a sharp fall in the amount spent on adverts for food and drink aimed at children.

The Department of Health commissioned the report, Changes In Food And Drink Advertising And Promotion To Children, to enable future advertising to be measured.

New restrictions on advertising food and drink to children on television channels were announced by regulator Ofcom in February last year, and now cover all children under the age of 16.

From January next year, all advertising of foods high in fat, salt or sugar will be banned on dedicated children's channels.

The new restrictions also state that these foods should not be advertised around programmes that would have particular appeal to the under-16s.

The report showed that the overall annual spend for food and drink advertisements aimed at children fell 41%, from £103m in 2003 to £61m in 2007.

TV advertising fell sharply in 2007, with a drop of 46% compared with 2003, but there was a big increase in the amount spent on adverts for food and drink aimed at children in the national press and women's magazines - a 42% rise from £4.7m in 2007 compared with £6.7m in 2003.

Copyright © PA Business 2008

Department of Health