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Tory backlash grows over delay to junk food TV ad ban

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Boris Johnson is already facing a growing backlash within his party over his decision to shelve a plan to ban “buy-one-get-one-free” supermarket deals and pre-watershed TV advertising for junk food.The prime minister ordered the delay as part of a decree for Whitehall to find ways of easing the cost of living crisis.

However, senior Tories have warned the delay risks heaping more pressure on the NHS and contributing to serious disease.Dan Poulter, a Tory MP and former health minister, urged the prime minister to rethink. “The biggest health challenge facing the UK is obesity, which we know is linked to many chronic health conditions including diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure – all of which can shorten lives and put tremendous pressure on the NHS,” he told the Observer.“Whilst there is no silver bullet, banning junk food advertisements and buy-one-get-one-free deals would be an important step forwards, so it is disappointing the government is shelving these plans, and I hope it reconsiders.”The decision is likely to receive scrutiny from the Commons health select committee.

It is headed by Jeremy Hunt, the former health secretary who once described the worsening childhood obesity problem as a “national emergency”.Another former health minister warned the decision could “blow a hole” in the government’s obesity strategy, which Johnson championed after his own weight put him at risk when he became ill with Covid-19.James Bethell, who piloted the measures, said dropping the plans risked having a “massive follow-on effect on all of our health targets”.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “The cancer 10-year plan, the extra five years of longevity and many more of our health targets are damaged by this.” “All of this

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