The Food Standards Agency has defended its timetable for the review of its Nutrient Profiling Model, which underpins Ofcom's ban on advertising HFSS (high fat, salt and sugar) products to children.

The review's tw0-year timescale came under fire at a food and health conference held by the Chartered Institute of Marketing this week.

But Gill Fine, director of nutrition and dietary health at the FSA, who was a speaker at the event, insisted two years were necessary to ensure a thorough assessment of the model's impact.

"We cannot fairly judge the model until it has been in use a year and this will be 1 April," she said.

"We are in the process of putting together an independent panel of experts, and are being careful to select the correct people.

"Then we are inviting comments in a six-week consultation and will draft changes. Once this is complete we have to put it out to a statutory eight-week consultation. All this takes time, which is frustrating, but we have to do it properly."

Also speaking at the conference was Ofcom director of content Kate Stross, who said the broadcast watchdog's only aim was for children to see fewer commercials advertising HFSS food.

"In the review, we won't look at whether children are less obese. We just want to see if the new rules have had the effect we intended, which is reducing HFSS advertising seen by four to nine-year-olds by 51%."

The Grocer's Weigh It Up! campaign has been calling for Ofcom and the FSA to review the NPM because it

demonises some healthy foods.