Impactful Bans: A Global Perspective on Junk Food Advertising Regulations

The UK Leads the Way in Combatting Childhood Obesity

The UK government’s decisive action to ban junk food advertisements on public transport, effective since February 25, 2023, marks a significant step in addressing the rising rates of childhood obesity. Covering all paid advertising for high-fat, salt, and sugar (HFSS) products, this bold move extends to buses, trains, and trams.

London’s Success Story: A 1,000-Calorie Shift in Shopping Habits

A study by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine reveals promising outcomes following the ban’s implementation. Weekly shopping habits witnessed a remarkable 1,000-calorie decrease in unhealthy purchases, with chocolate and confectionery leading the way with a nearly 20% reduction, equating to 317.9 fewer calories.

This decrease translates to approximately 385 fewer calories per person each week, illustrating the tangible impact of the ban on individual choices. The findings suggest a potential game-changer in the fight against childhood obesity.”

London’s Ban: A Collaborative Study’s Insights

LSHTM buildingA joint study by the University of Sheffield and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine delves deeper into the ban’s repercussions. Notably, the policy is estimated to have prevented 94,867 cases of obesity, a 4.8% decrease from expectations. Furthermore, there have been 2,857 fewer cases of diabetes and 1,915 fewer cases of cardiovascular disease.

International Front-Runners: A Glimpse into Global Strategies

The UK is not alone in its commitment to battling unhealthy advertising. Australia’s Capital Territory and Amsterdam have implemented regulations targeting public-owned assets, while Brazil concentrates on the Ministry of Health and its properties. These global initiatives echo a shared commitment to promoting healthier lifestyles through stringent advertising regulations.

A Holistic Approach: Understanding the Broader Implications

It is crucial to note that the success of London’s ban on junk food advertisements on public transport is still in its early stages. The long-term impact on public health remains to be seen. However, the initial positive outcomes underscore the potential benefits of similar global initiatives.

Junk food ads to be banned from bus shelters

The latest move on banning junk food ads is to take place by Brighton and Hove City Council. The restriction on advertising food that is high in fat, salt, sugar and energy drinks is expected to take effect in 2025 or 2026 once a current contract has ended. If you want to read more, check out this article.


In conclusion, the ban on junk food advertisements on public transport in the UK, particularly in London, has shown promising results in curbing unhealthy purchases and contributing to improved public health. As the world grapples with rising rates of obesity and related health issues, these stringent advertising regulations serve as beacons of hope for a healthier future.

David Breaker
David Breaker
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