Tower Hamlets in East London has become the seventh local authority in the UK to ban HFSS food and drinks advertising.

The move follows the launch of the Healthier Food Advertising Policy, brought in across the Transport for London network in 2019. 

Other local authorities across the UK have brought in a ban, including Haringey, Southwark, Merton, Greenwich, Bristol and Barnsley.

Sustain, the campaign group that helped develop the idea of councils banning junk food ads, cited evidence from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, which claimed the restrictions led to a 20% reduction in sugary products, and a 1,000-calorie decrease, per week per household from unhealthy foods and drinks.

It said while the national government was stalling on anti-obesity measures, local authorities were pressing ahead.

Last week the Obesity Health Alliance released research claiming eight out of 10 adults supported restricting unhealthy food advertising to children on TV and online.

“We’re delighted to have worked with Tower Hamlets Council to remove the advertising spotlight off unhealthy foods and drinks,” said Fran Bernhardt, Children’s Food Campaign co-ordinator of Sustain.

“They join a growing movement of local authorities taking a stand for child health with more than 100 councils coming to Sustain for advice on their own policies. This evidence-based policy has now become a no-brainer of a public health intervention and we hope the terrific news from Tower Hamlets will inspire councils everywhere to take this important step for child health.”