The Scottish Consumer Council has criticised the marketing of high-calorie, low-nutrient food to children.

It said the ads should be banned during pre-school children’s TV and is to support a campaign to fight rising levels of obesity in the UK.

A report in July by parental group the Food Commission claimed that food advertising accounts for half of all commercials broadcast during children’s TV viewing times.

Co-author of the Food Commission’s report Kath Dalmeny said: "Junk food advertisers know that children are especially susceptible to marketing messages." Her report found that 20% of UK children are overweight, with Scottish children among the heaviest in the country.

Around 8% of three to four year-olds in Scotland were found to be obese, rising to 15% of those in the third year of secondary school.