The Food Standards Agency has concluded that the way foods are advertised to children does affect their eating patterns.

The FSA commissioned Professor Gerard Hastings from the University of Strathclyde to review research into the issues.

Professor Hastings said the report highlights a number of significant conclusions about the link between promotional activities and children's eating behaviour.

“In particular, it concludes that advertising to children does have an effect on their preferences, purchase behaviour and consumption, and these effects are apparent not just for different brands but also for different types of food.”

The FSA will now hold meetings “involving a wide range of stakeholders with an interest in, or concern about, the promotion of food to children”.

Academics will discuss the review findings and there will be a public meeting to debate the issues.