UK Healthcare Sector Urges Tougher Marketing Restrictions on Alcohol & Junk Food

The British Medical Association (BMA) is asserting its weight to lead the calls for more stringent advertising regulations on the promotion of alcohol and junk food. Their sense of urgency rides on the back of the spiralling costs involved in the NHS treating obesity and liver damage.

With a precedent of the successful ban on smoking adverts, Ministers in Scotland have already asked the Government to implement tougher licensing restrictions plus a ban on TV adverts prior to the 21:00 watershed.

Chairman of the BMA Scotland, Dr Peter Bennie, commented: "Despite the serious health harms associated with excessive alcohol consumption and obesity in the UK, these industries use marketing to promote consumption of their products. The cost of alcohol to our society is significant and, inevitably, the NHS picks up the pieces."

"Obesity rates too are worryingly high, driven by the promotion and availability of unhealthy foods. Obesity brings with it increased risk of a wide range of serious life-threatening and chronic diseases. While doctors have a role to play in supporting overweight patients, there is a limit to what they can do."

He concluded: "The UK Government could take decisive action to change the culture of excess that the junk food and alcohol industry promotes, and tougher regulation of advertising would be a positive first step."

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