Position Statement on restricting advertising of high fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) products – June 2023

Obesity Action Scotland supports the introduction of restrictions on all forms of advertising of high fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) products. Such restrictions should be focused on protecting children from harmful influences and improving the diet and health of the wider population.

A significant proportion of food and drink adverts are used to promote HFSS products in the UK and Scotland. Conversely, very few adverts promote healthy options, like fruit and vegetables. Adverts have an especially big impact on the food preferences and choices of children, ultimately affecting their diet and health outcomes.

What should be restricted?

In order to be effective, we need extensive restrictions of as many types of HFSS product advertising as possible, including:

  • TV and online (with adaptable policy capable of reacting to new forms of digital marketing)
  • Outdoor spaces (e.g. public transport adverts, billboards)
  • Product packaging (children’s cartoon characters and nutritional claims)
  • Sport and event sponsorship
  • All other media children are exposed to (including radio and print)