Ads for food and drink with high fat, sugar or salt content to be restricted in Barnsley

Advertisements for food and drinks with high fat, sugar or salt content will be restricted in Barnsley, in a bid to “protect children and adults”.

Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 11:24 am
Updated Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 2:18 pm

The policy will apply to all Barnsley Council owned advertising sites, and advertisements at Barnsley Council premises open to the public such as libraries and museums, as well as council leased premises.

A policy guidance note outlining the scheme states that in Barnsley, which is the 38th most deprived local authority in England, one in three primary school leavers and two in three adults are classed as overweight or obese.

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Advertisements for food and drinks with high fat, sugar or salt content will be restricted in Barnsley, in a bid to "protect children and adults".

It adds that “children and adults from lower socio-economic groups are 50 per cent more likely to be exposed to such advertisements for high fat, salt, or sugar (HFSS) foods.”

“The government’s tackling obesity strategy recognises these issues nationally and has moved to ban HFSS advertising on TV before 9pm and online as well as restricting volume promotions such as ‘buy one get one free’’.”

The guidance note is an addition to the council’s advertising and sponsorship policy and follows similar policies adopted by Bristol City Council and several London boroughs.

A similar policy on the Transport for London (TfL) network saw an estimated 6.7 per cent decrease in average weekly household purchases of energy from HFSS products, and the average weekly purchases of chocolate and sweets fell by 19.4 per cent.

The guidance note for Barnsley has been developed with support from the food charity, Sustain, who advised the Mayor of London’s team on the TfL policy and has worked with more than 80 local authorities across the country to introduce local healthier advertising policies.

“This serves to protect children and adults from exposure to HFSS advertising, which can influence what people eat and drink, as well as how much,” adds a statement on Barnsley Council’s website.

Julia Burrows, Barnsley’s director of public health, said: “We want everyone in Barnsley to have the best possible chance of enjoying life in good physical and mental health. This guidance note is just one element of what we’re doing to make it easier to be healthy.”

“We’re working with businesses who already advertise with us and will work collaboratively with any future businesses to make sure they can advertise healthy food and drink with us.”