Junk food ads to be banned on all TfL networks

Young woman sitting eating an hamburger hand hold- hunger, food, meal concept

Sadiq Khan has confirmed that Transport for London (TfL) will ban all junk food adverts on its networks.

But the Mayor of London was also called on to go further, banning takeaways near schools and challenging the food industry to make healthier products.

Mr Khan officially confirmed the ban would take place from 25 February 2019.

The restrictions – part of a bid to tackle childhood obesity – will take place on the London Underground and Overground, buses, TfL Rail, trams and river services.

The move came after a public consultation was launched in May and showed Londoners were in overwhelming support of the idea.

Mr Khan said: “It’s clear that advertising plays a huge part in the choices we make, whether we realise it or not, and Londoners have shown overwhelming support for a ban on adverts for junk food and drink on our transport network.

“It’s completely unacceptable that in a city as prosperous as London, where you live and the amount you earn can have a massive impact on whether you have access to healthy, nutritious food. I’m determined to change this.”

The ban covers all adverts for food and drinks high in fat, salt and sugar. Food and drinks companies will instead be allowed to advertise healthier products.

The London Assembly welcomed the move by Mr Khan. Onkar Sahota AM, chairman of the GLA health committee, said: “This is a step in the right direction. It’s a relief to see the Mayor making bold steps to tackle childhood obesity.

“However, if the Mayor is serious about reaching his targets then we urge him to make even bolder steps, like banning takeaway shops near schools, continuing to challenge the food industry to make food healthier, and to work on the income inequality that makes it difficult for parents to afford existing healthy food.

“With these kind of measures in place we can prolong the lives of our children and in some cases save them.”

London has one of the highest child overweight and obesity rates in Europe, with almost 40% of the Capital’s children aged 10 and 11 overweight or obese.