Britain won't ban TV food ads

July 22, 2004 at 11:34 AM

LONDON, July 22 (UPI) -- A British telecom regulatory agency refused to ban food ads on TV, but suggested encouraging children to exercise as a means to curb childhood obesity.

Ofcom interviewed more than 2,000 parents, teachers, nutritionists and children about why kids choose the foods they do and found a total ban of food advertising from children's TV programming would be ineffective, Britain's Telegraph reported Thursday.

The study came after a request last year by Tessa Jowell, Britain's culture secretary, for Ofcom to consider setting tougher standards for marketing to children on television.

The survey found that TV advertising has only a "modest direct effect" on what children eat and their overall health, which is more directly impacted by exercise, what families eat, school meals, food labeling and other forms of promotion.

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