Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Nannying gone mad

This story comes from the Daily Mail of Great Britain. It's only a matter of time before the Dairy State follows suit, I think:
TV ban on adverts for cheese, the latest 'junk food'

Last updated at 08:41am on 3rd January 2007

Cheese is to be treated as junk food under new advertising rules for children's television.

Commercials promoting it will be banned during children's TV programmes and those with a large proportion of young viewers.

The rules, which come into force this month, are part of a Government drive to reduce children's exposure to foods high in fat, salt and sugar.

Much to the disgust of its makers, cheese is to be regarded in the same light as crisps, sugary cereals and cheeseburgers.

In fact, under the criteria used by the Food Standards Agency to determine junk foods, such products are actually regarded as healthier than cheese.

The ban follows evidence that TV commercials have an indirect influence on what children eat and are contributing to obesity in the young.

The Food Standards Agency model assesses the fat, sugar and salt content in a 100g or 100ml serving of food or drink.

But the British Cheese Board points out that a typical portion of cheese was 30 to 40g - not the 100g used in the agency's model.

Most cheese would be exempt from the ban if a typical portion had been used in the calculations, according to the board.

It pointed out that cheese was one of the most 'nutritionally complete' foods.

The National Farmers' Union described the decision as "nannying gone mad".

'To suggest there is anything inherently harmful about cheese is absurd,' spokesman Anthony Gibson said.

'There is no such thing as a bad food. It is just how much of it you eat, in what balance and how much exercise you take.'

He said the new rules were 'of no use to consumers', adding: 'It may very well put them off eating healthy things.'

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