Labour to ban junk food ads from top TV shows

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Adverts for junk food and sweets will be banned from hit TV shows including The X Factor, Hollyoaks and Britain's Got Talent under Labour plans to tackle childhood obesity.

A £250 million-a-year fund aimed at making UK youngsters the healthiest in the world would also see investment in school nurses in Jeremy Corbyn's pitch to voters.

Labour said the "scandal" of poor health in children was a "growing and urgent challenge" which needed radical action.

But Tory public health minister Nicola Blackwood said Mr Corbyn's "nonsensical" economic ideas would leave the country short of funds to pay for services.

Adverts for products high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) are already banned on children's television, but Labour's plans would extend the prohibition to cover all programmes before the 9pm watershed.

Campaigners have argued that the existing ban does not cover many TV programmes which are popular with youngsters, but not specifically aimed at children.

Labour highlighted figures suggesting the move would reduce children's viewing of junk food adverts by 82%.

The move is part of a strategy to halve the number of overweight children within 10 years in an effort to curb the £6 billion annual cost to the NHS of obesity.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: "The scandal of child ill-health is a long-standing, growing and urgent challenge.

"It should be matter of shame that a child's health is so closely linked to poverty and that where and in what circumstances you grow up can dramatically affect your life chances.

"Evidence shows the link between deprivation and poor health in childhood, so with child poverty on the rise, the need for action becomes more acute."

The £250 million child health fund would be paid for by halving the amount the NHS spends on management consultants each year, Labour claimed.

The money would be used to expand the public health workforce and help with promotional schemes.

Ms Blackwood said: "Reducing childhood obesity is vital. That's why the public health watchdog says that the childhood obesity plan we've put in place is the most ambitious in the world, and why we have one of the strictest TV advertising regimes of any country.

"But the truth is that families deserve more than unfunded promises from Jeremy Corbyn. We spent £3.4 billion on public health programmes last year - that can only be funded by a strong economy which Corbyn would risk with his nonsensical economic ideas."

Elsewhere on the campaign trail ahead of the June 8 vote, Ukip leader Paul Nuttall will be setting out his immigration policy, expected to include a "one in, one out" pledge to cut net migration to zero as he seeks to rebuild his party's support following the local election mauling.

Tim Farron will be on board the Liberal Democrat battle bus as it heads to Scotland, seeking to win over voters who oppose both Brexit and Scottish independence.