Cartoon food advertising criticised

Advertising cartoon characters are failing to promote healthy eating in children, a consumer group has said.

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A Which? report has said that out of 19 characters used by food companies, not one promoted healthier products.

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Clare Corbett from Which? said: “Cartoons are great fun for kids, but we do want to see them promoting healthier products.

“Food companies must play their part in the fight against childhood obesity and diet-related disease by acting responsibly.”

She added: “If the industry fails to act, the government must step in.”

A spokesman for the Advertising Standards Authority said: “The rules surrounding food and soft drink advertising to children were significantly tightened only last year following a review of all the evidence and extensive public consultation, including input from Which?.

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“These robust new rules are amongst the toughest in the world – such as a ban on all ‘high in fat, sugar and salt’ advertising during children’s programming – providing a very high level of protection.”

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