nly SME producers of unhealthy food will be allowed to advertise before 9pm on TV in the UK from the end of next year.
Companies like local takeaways, employing less than 250, are exempt from the new laws which the government says will address obesity in children.
The UK government says one in three children leave primary school overweight or obese, with obesity-related illnesses costing the NHS £6 billion a year.
Honey, olive oil, avocados and marmite are excluded from the restrictions. Breakfast cereals, yoghurts, ready meals, chicken nuggets and battered fish – all food defined as high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) will be subject to them.
A new Office for Health Promotion is set to lead further campaigns against obesity.
The government said in September 2019 almost half of all food adverts shown on ITV1, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky1 were for products high in fat, salt and sugar, rising to nearly 60 per cent between 6pm and 9pm. The largest number of child viewers is between 6pm and 9pm.
An around-the-clock ban on online junk food advertising will be limited to paid-for content, meaning companies can continue to promote goods using their own blogs, websites, apps or social media pages.
It is estimated that more than £400 million is spent on advertising food products online in the UK annually and a pre-watershed TV ad ban could cost mainstream broadcasters more than £200 million a year in revenue.