UK, local authorities restrict ads on unhealthy food and drinks

21 August 2023

Luton Council in South East England has joined the ranks of UK authorities curbing unhealthy food and drink advertisements, implementing measures in partnership with Sustain (an alliance of organisations and communities working together for a better system of food, farming and fishing). This move, as a Food Ingredients First article reports, aims to safeguard the health of local adults and children, and it applies to all advertising efforts.

Luton becomes the eighth local authority to adopt a Healthier Food Advertising Policy. The initial policy was introduced by the Mayor of London, in collaboration with Sustain, across the Transport for London network in 2019. Several other UK local authorities have since followed suit, including Haringey, Southwark, Merton, Greenwich, Bristol, Barnsley, and Tower Hamlets.

This policy targets products high in fat, salt, and sugar (HFSS), with the aim of reducing exposure to such advertisements, which disproportionately target children and young people in disadvantaged areas. The policy will limit the promotion of junk food and drink products across the council’s estates, assets, and advertising service contracts.