From the U.K.'s 'The Daily Mail'
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'
'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.'
Mary Quicke, who runs Quickes Cheese in
She said the FSA's decision to assess cheese using a 100g portion was ridiculous. 'Imagine eating 100 grams of cheese - that's four ounces. You would have to be a pretty dedicated eater of cheese to get around that.'
Other foods banned from advertising during children's TV include: Marmite, Flora Lite, half-fat cheddar, Dairylea triangles, bran flakes, camembert, sugar-coated puffed wheat, instant hot oat cereal, Jaffa cakes, reduced calorie mayonnaise, multi-grain hoop cereal, half-fat creme fraiche, takeaway chicken nuggets, potato waffles, Greek yoghurt (from sheep's milk), ham, sausages, bacon rashers, low-fat spreads, peanuts, cashew nuts, pistachio-nuts, peanut butter, raisins, sultanas, currants, low-fat potato crisps, olive oil, butter, pizza, hamburgers, tomato ketchup, chocolate, brown sauce, cola and lemonade.
Foods which escape the ban include: Plain fromage frais, fish fingers, lasagne ready meals, currant buns, malt loaf, frozen roast potatoes, chicken curry with rice ready meal, frozen oven chips, sliced white bread, cottage cheese, supermarket frozen chicken nuggets, milk, brazil nuts, canned strawberries in syrup, diet cola and chocolate-flavoured milk.