Theresa May has said further action will be taken if Government-led efforts to reduce childhood obesity fail to provide the desired results.
The Prime Minister faced calls to back celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s “#AdEnough” social media campaign, which urges the Government to introduce a 9pm watershed on junk food advertising on television.
Oliver also wants controls on what advertisements can be seen online, in the street and on public transport.
Mrs May labelled the Government’s plans to tackle childhood obesity as “world-leading”, pointing to efforts to reduce the levels of sugar eaten by people and to guarantee exercise for primary schoolchildren.
She failed to commit to the campaign although said further action has not been ruled out “if the right results aren’t seen”.
Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, Labour’s Liz McInnes said: “In my constituency of Heywood and Middleton in the borough of Rochdale, one in three of year six children are overweight or obese.
“With our children being bombarded with junk food ads on their favourite television programmes, on billboards and even on bus tickets, will the Prime Minister take the bold steps needed to tackle junk food marketing and support Jamie Oliver’s campaign and say that she too has ‘Ad enough’?”
Mrs May replied: “We already have plans to tackle childhood obesity that are world-leading. No other developed country has done anything as ambitious.
“Our soft drinks industry levy – that’s bold action we’re taking. Our sugar reduction programme is going to cut the amounts of sugar consumed by young people. And of course we’re putting in plans in relation to the amount of exercise that primary schoolchildren get every day.
“Those steps will make a real difference and a real help in reversing the problem that has been decades in the making.
“But of course we haven’t ruled out further action if the right results aren’t seen.”