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Food promotion and children Action Plan 2004
We already know that many children's diets contain more fat, sugar and salt than is recommended.
And children's obesity levels are rising, so much so that this situation has been described as 'a health timebomb' by the Chief Medical Officer for England in his 2002 Annual Report.
In the past ten years, levels of obesity have doubled among six year olds and trebled among 15 year olds, and levels are continuing to rise. This is why action needs to be taken.
We are committed to helping people improve their dietary health and this includes encouraging children to eat a more healthy diet.
One important area is the role played by the promotion of food, particularly food that is high in fat, sugar or salt.
The Agency has looked carefully at the evidence on the effect of food promotion on children's diets and considered the likely effectiveness of a range of possible actions, on which it has promoted a wide-ranging debate.
At the Agency's open Board meeting on 6 July 2004, Board members agreed an action plan aimed at Government, industry, schools and others, which is designed to encourage practices that promote healthy eating for children.
This action plan is the result of the extensive period of evidence gathering and consultation by the Agency.
It's important to stress that food promotion is not just about TV advertising. Although TV ads have dominated this sector, promotion today is multi-faceted, including print and radio, SMS text messaging, celebrity endorsements, sponsorship of educational materials, point-of-sale promotions, vending machines and voucher schemes, often supported by powerful branding.