Culture secretary Tessa Jowell has dismissed calls for a ban on junk food advertising and was sceptical that such a move was the answer to the UK’s growing obesity problem.

Jowell’s comments came as a reaction to the call for a ban from Sustain, the campaign group for better food and farming. In a report submitted to the government and the Food Standards Agency, Sustain claimed the support of over 100 national organisations for a ban.

Martin Paterson, deputy director general of the Food and Drink Federation also rejected the Sustain report.

He said: “There are no quick fixes. Any action needs to be based on sound science, and requires government and all stakeholders to work together with a commitment to achieving real results over the long term.”

Speaking at the annual conference of the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers - Jowell said that children’s food “is quite a different animal” to tobacco and that “what worked in one area won’t necessarily work in another”.

She called on advertisers to use their creativity to put food in the context of healthy eating and lifestyles. She said: “It’s pointless to tell children that eating chocolate is bad. It’s eating only chocolate that’s the problem.”

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