Food writers, chefs, nutritionists, wholesalers and healthy food manufacturers have all voiced their support for The Grocer's Weigh it Up! campaign, which gathered momentum this week.

The campaign, which calls on Ofcom to abandon its use of the Nutrient Profiling Model as a means of scoring any food that is to be advertised to children, has already attracted widespread attention from the broadcast media.

Stories about the model's demonisation of healthy foods, such as raisins, cheese and high-fibre cereals, hit the national press, while The Grocer's editor Adam Leyland, appeared on BBC Breakfast news.

High-profile supporters of The Grocer campaign already include Giles Coren, The Times restaurant critic and sidekick to Gordon Ramsay in Channel Four's TV show the F Word, and food writer and journalist Kevin Gould, who writes the Hungry Traveller column each week in the Guardian.

"I absolutely support The Grocer," said Coren. "The [Ofcom] decision is bonkers."

Leading nutritionist Dr Verner Wheelock, who is soon to publish a book on healthy eating in schools, has given his backing, as has healthy food company The Food Doctor.

"The model developed by the FSA is in total conflict with the basic nutrition principle that a variety of foods is needed to construct a healthy diet," said Dr Wheelock.

Support has also come from the grocery industry, including Bestway Cash & Carry, the UK's second-largest cash & carry.

"We support all things that are good for most people and The Grocer campaign is good for common sense," said managing director Younus Sheikh.

"Let's see a lot more of it in everything we do."

Meanwhile, Ofcom has still to finalise the scheduling for advertising HFSS foods during children's ­programming and programmes with particular appeal to children.

The full regulations were originally to be in place by the end of last month, but Ofcom is still pondering its decision on whether the advertising ban should be extended from programmes that appeal to children under-nine to those that appeal to under-16s.

The delay is hampering advertisers' plans for future advertising, said a source at Masterfoods.

"Inevitably, when you are operating in uncertainty, it is difficult to plan your advertising. We normally plan our advertising months in advance so the delays have caused some difficulties."

The Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice is holding a seminar later this month to update food and drink advertisers on the new rules for advertising food and drink products to children.

"The new rules represent a significant shift in the regulatory goalposts," said BCAP secretary Roger Wisbey. "By getting to grips with the changes now, advertisers can help avoid producing campaigns that fall foul of the codes and attract undesirable negative publicity."

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