from Sue Davies, principal policy adviser, Consumers’ Association

Sir; Ofcom’s July report on food advertising and childhood obesity (Ofcom: ban on kids would be unworkable, The Grocer, July 24, p8) was yet another example of the government failing to confront the growing diet and health crisis in the UK.

While it is encouraging that Ofcom recognised that advertising has an important influence on children’s diets, it is disappointing that it hasn’t followed this up by giving firm support to restrictions of ads for foods high in fat, sugar and salt during children’s viewing times.

Ofcom has avoided a hard line on advertising on the basis that on its own it will not solve the crisis. It is true solutions must be multifaceted; just as there are a range of barriers there are a range of solutions.

However, we fail to see how any measures encouraging children to eat more healthily will succeed if children are still being bombarded with messages about unhealthy food every time they switch on the TV. Restrictions on advertising of foods high in fat, sugar and salt are therefore essential if the crisis is to be tackled.