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