Wales Mulls Banning Unhealthful Food Ads to Late Night

Welsh health minister wants food ads moved after 9 p.m.

Wikimedia/Tila Monto

Wales' health minister wants TV commercials for unhealthful foods moved to after 9 p.m., where fewer kids will see them.

Rising rates of obesity, diabetes, and other health problems among children and young people are a serious public health concern, and one politician wants to combat that problem by banning daytime TV commercials for unhealthful foods.

According to the BBC, Wales’ health minister, Mark Drakeford, is calling for the U.K. government to ban TV ads for sodas, candy, and foods high in fat, salt, and sugar, until after 9 p.m., when children are less likely to see them.

"Adverts marketing soft drinks, chocolate, other confectionery, and sugary cereals are all making significant contributions to children consuming free sugar,” Drakeford said. "All these food sectors are actively marketed during the advertisement breaks of TV programmes we know our children and young people watch, on the internet, as well as in cinemas preceding films targeted at children.”

In Wales, 26 percent of children are overweight or obese, and Drakeford suggests that removing tempting TV commercials could make significant strides towards rectifying that situation and improving the diets of the country’s children and young people, which could help improve health outcomes as they get older.


According to the BBC, the prime TV-watching hour for children is 8 p.m. Ads for those kinds of food are already banned from airing during TV programs targeted at children, but not during programs not specifically directed at kids, which children might be watching anyway.