Media regulator Ofcom has confirmed details of its ban on fast-food operators advertising during TV shows watched by under-16s.

Phase one of the ban will begin in April, banning adverts for foods high in fat, sugar and salt in the time around shows watched by children aged between seven and nine.

Phase two follows in January 2008, reinforcing ban by removing the advertisements placed around programmes that would appeal to children aged four to 15.

Phase three aims to complete the ban by eradicating junk food advertising from all children’s television.

Health food campaigners wanted a ban on junk food adverts up to the 9pm watershed, but Ofcom said the ban will cover any shows appealing to teenagers, whatever time they are aired.

Food industry figures said the ban will have no real effect on childhood obesity.

Melanie Leech, director of the Food and Drink Federation said: “Ofcom notes TV advertising has a modest, direct effect on children’s food choices and is only one among many influences.”

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By Jessica Harvey

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