Sweets no longer seen as treats because ads tell children they deserve

Current regulations introduced by the Advertising Standards Authority restrict adverts for high fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) products being directed at children.In March this year, Cadbury’s was banned from advertising its Freddo chocolate bars next to a school after being accused by the of using their frog mascot to promote junk food to children.“Growing up, I used to wait until Friday and that’s when you got sweets. But now children are eating sweets on their break time, lunchtime and when they get home,” Conservative MP Damien Moore told the committee.Dame Sally was also questioned on plans to treat sweet foods like tobacco and introduce plain packaging.“That would be an approach,” she said. “Do we really need all the crisp packets?“Should cereals be standardised?“I am not saying I am going to recommend this, but we are going to have to think about this, or we will look back at the young generation and regret that we didn’t take action.” Sweets are no longer seen as “treats” because adverts tell children and women that they deserve to eat chocolate, the Chief Medical Officer has said.Giving evidence to the Science and Technology Committee, Professor Dame Sally Davies said Britain has “lost the concept” of what constitutes a rare treat and that “we all need to eat less”.Her comments came during a discussion with MPs on the nation’s “obesity crisis” as she was probed on how to tackle it.“I remember Sunday roasts as a child. There was one or two pieces of meat. Now you see the large portions that people have,” Dame Sally said.“We do seem to have lost the concept of treats. I think the advertising is very interesting, a lot of it is aimed at children or women in particular. ‘You deserve this’ – when did I deserve sweets?” she added.Dame Sally’s latest comments come one week after she announced that she is considering a tax on all unhealthy foods in a bid to reduce the levels of childhood obesity, after more than 20,000 primary school children were classed as obese when they left primary school last year. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.

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