There is no such thing as "junk food" – how will an advertising ban work?



When the government announced its public consultation on restricting food advertising on Sunday, the press release came with an exciting quote from Public Health Minister Steve Brine, who said: "It's not a ban on everyday products such as butter and olive oil. to reduce the exposure of children to products of low nutritional value ". This was reinforced with a bullet at the top of the page that said "Options will not affect ads for daily staplers like butter, olive oil or meat."

Why so defensible for butter and meat? Perhaps because Transport for London had laughed two weeks earlier when he was pulling a tube advertising to see a taste of butter and bacon. This was the first clear indication to the public that there was more to suppress "junk food" than the eye approached. As I explained ad nauseum, There is no "junk food" but HFSS food (High in fat, salt or sugar). Butter is clearly high in fat and is included in the government's salt reduction program. Bacon is too high both in salt and in saturated fat. Since the advertising rules are based on a rigid version of HFSS, it is difficult to give a pass to these products simply because you can buy their organic versions in Waitrose.

But it is also difficult to sell a policy under the guise of dealing with the "unwanted food" (a term that appears three times in the press release) when the public has just seen how much the definition goes into practice. The promise to exclude the sympathies of butter was a small concession to logic, but how would the government justify it?

The answer came yesterday when the public consultation was opened. The government intends to apply the ban on advertising to any product also defined as HFSS and is included in the UK Public Health Program to reduce sugar and calories. This takes butter and olive oil from the hook because the former is only included in the salt reduction program and the olive oil is not part of the remodeling program.

The reshaping program was initially sold to the public as an effort to make baby food healthier, but soon expanded on all foods because – as Alison Tedstone of England said suddenly – "Our children do not eat baby food. We buy the same food for our entire family. "Anything that can be reformed is considered a fair way for the government's arbitrary targets to reduce sugar by 20% by 2020 and to reduce calories by 20% by 2024.

This means that some HFSS products, such as raisins and walnuts, are exempt because they are as nature did, and the recast is naturally impossible. Raw meat is relieved, but meat products (including bacon) are not. Fruits are relieved, but canned fruits and melts are not. In a nutshell, a food category is included in the program if there is some editing element that could be changed.

So many foods are included in the program for reducing sugar and calories, so the new exemption does not affect the broad scope of the ban on advertising. This means there is an exception for butter, which is excellent news for Johnny Rotten, but the public health documents of England reveal that the only HFSS foods that will benefit from the vacuum are fat spreads, olive oil, roasted beans,. The following categories will still be covered by the ban:

Breakfast cereals, yoghurt, appetizers, sweet biscuits, salty biscuits, cakes, pastries, croissants, ice creams, sweets, sweets, ice creams, sweets, chocolate, jams, biscuits, hazelnuts, fruit salads, rice, cereal bars, cookies, breads with additives (eg egg), 'potato products' (but not potatoes), 'egg products' ( but no egg), "egg products", pasta, ham, ham, toasted bread, pies, sausages, milk drinks, sorbets, hummus, zucchini, potato salad, soups, sandwiches and food on the move. I could go on.

Some of these could be considered "junk food" and many of them should be considered as pleasures, but many of them resemble the kind of "daily wires" that Brine claims to protect. It is questionable whether many of them have "low nutritional value" or need to be protected from the sensitive eyes of children. The alleged war on "junk food" remains an attack on what we most simply call "food".