UK Considers Junk Food Ban on Children's Programs

Just as 10 of America's leading purveyors of junk food -- among them Coca-Cola, Campbell Soup and McDonald's -- announced a voluntary ban on child-themed food ads, the UK's Office of Communication (Ofcom) is considering a wholesale embargo on all junk food advertising on all shows aimed for kids under age 16.

If Ofcom passes these new rules into law on Jan. 31, they'll be doing so over the expected protests of various food and drink industries as well as consumer health groups who believe the agency didn't go far enough (activists were seeking a delay on junk foods ads on British TV until 9 p.m.).

Of course, the American "ban" is so full of holes, some products -- sugary sweet cereals and beyond salty prepared soups -- will skate past any toothless "limits" with minimal changes. The rest of the American food companies agreeing to the "voluntary" ban: Cadbury Schweppes, General Mills, Hershey, Kellogg, Kraft Foods, PepsiCo and Unilever.

No questions, folks, childhood obesity is soaring worldwide and TV is playing the role of "Pied Piper" in spreading this plague far and wide. That's why I recommend the simple step of limiting a child's TV time and getting it out of their bedrooms as soon as possible.

Yahoo Finance November 17, 2006

MSNBC November 14, 2006