If this is true, it is so disappointingly shortsighted.

I hope that @MattHancock and @Jochurchill4 will reconsider.

A quick walk through the evidence. 🧵
Nearly one in four reception age children and one in three children at year 6 are overweight or obese.

And there are stark inequalities - children in yr 6 are *more than twice* as likely to be obese if living in the most deprived areas compared to the least.
The government is aiming to halve childhood obesity by 2030 and reduce inequalities.

You can't do this with one or two policies here and there. Obesity is complex and multifaceted. To make any kind of dent, you need a multifaceted solution.

Interventions can act at the individual level - like weight mgmt services. Or at the population level - like soft drink tax or education

Individual level policies support people at high risk, whereas pop level affect everyone. They 'shift the curve' often meaning ⬆️ health gains
And among the population level interventions, some are better for improving health and narrowing inequalities than others.
For example, healthy advertising campaigns need people to see the ad, read it, understand it, and then change behaviour before any benefit.

And each of these steps is socioeconomically patterned - i.e. people who are wealthier, more educated, have more time, etc benefit more.
By contrast, the soft drinks levy & reformulation means people can benefit without any behaviour change at all.

These 'low-agency' policies not only have greater health benefits but are more likely to narrow inequalities.

See this ace @jeanmadams paper

The total ban on online advertising is an example of a low agency population level intervention.
It is well known that advertising affects children’s food choices, both what is consumed & what is purchased.

⬆️unhealthy ads = ⬆️unhealthy food bought & ⬆️ unhealthy food eaten

And whilst the prohibiting of advertising unhealthy food products during programmes aimed at children in 2007 had an impact, children’s exposure to unhealthy food adverts remained *the same*.

Manufacturers instead promoted their products during family programmes.
Since 2007, children increasingly view content online rather than TV.

Advertisers have followed suit.

Despite a 2017 ban of online unhealthy food ads aimed at kids, 33% of websites & 95% of YouTube channels aimed at kids still carried these ads.

Furthermore, recent modelling suggests that limiting children’s exposure to HFSS advertising on TV before 9pm may lead to 40,000 fewer children with obesity and a health-related saving of £7.4bn.

The advertising ban was even part of the recently proposed NHS white paper.

Plus, I'm not sure where the 700 calories modelling has come from, but even if it is the right ballpark, it's an *average*

Those most exposed to the adverts will be the most impacted and will have the most the benefit.

Again, likely not just benefiting health, but inequalities.
Finally, while the ad ban will be important, note it still won't be enough on its own.

We must also tackle the root causes of ill health and inequalities – the environmental, economic & social conditions that determine health, opportunity & wellbeing.

For example, the most affluent parts of the country have on average five times the amount of green space but a fifth of the fast food outlets than the most deprived areas.


And of all the fun places to write about this stuff, with @louisemarsha11, we outlined these arguments in @Telegraph last year.

This is not about some false dichotomy of business vs health. Health is an asset, and it is crucial to our economic recovery.


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More from @ADMBriggs

25 Mar
And most recent T&T data, 11/3 to 17/3. 🧵

- More testing
- Fewer cases
- And the numbers of non-household close contacts is rising again.

This week, just a short thread to pull out main points.

gov.uk/government/pub… Image
Small increase in number of people tested but rise of 1.3m in number of LFDs used, driven by secondary schools. ImageImageImage
And case rates generally still falling, except among school age children

Read 10 tweets
25 Mar
This week's PHE surveillance report is now out, covering 15-21 March. 🧵

- increasing case rates among 5-9y/o and 10-19y/o
- important geographic variation
- hospital data still improving
- vax going strong
- and inequalities persist.

Number of PCR and LFD tests done similar to the previous week, but positivity (percentage of tests that are positive) for PCR still trending down and is now 2.1%

For LFDs it's 0.19% compared with 0.15% the week before.
Case rates are falling less slowly, but they're still falling across all ages...

*except* 5-9y/o where they're up 59% to 63.5/100,000, and 10-19y/o where they're up 26% to 100.7/100,000.

Case rates lowest in vaccinated cohorts.
Read 23 tweets
24 Mar
Matt Hancock speaking at #LGAPublicHealth21.

The language has officially changed from health protection to health security - with the launch of the UK Health Security Agency, or UKHSA.
Will cover pandemic prevention and response, communicable disease, and external threats.

Chief Exec will be Dr Jenny Harries (Dep CMO with hugely impressive public health background)
Chair is Ian Peters, current Chair of @NHSBartsHealth
The challenge (as ever) will be maintaining interest and funding for the agency in between crises.

Stresses importance of relationships with DsPH, although no mention yet of local PHE Health Protection Teams who have also been critical in local response as well.
Read 8 tweets
18 Mar
This week's PHE surveillance report, covers 8th-14th March. 🧵

- cases falling but LFDs making it a harder to follow trends
- Still important inequalities by local authority, ethnicity, & deprivation.
- And good news on vaccines and seroprevalence

case rates continue to drop, but increasingly difficult to interpret pillar 2 data (community testing) here as it includes both lateral flow devices (LFDs) for those without symptoms, and PCR tests for those with symptoms.
This is laid out here - LFD test use over 5m in the most recent week reported, with positivity 0.15% compared with 2.4% among PCR tests.
Read 22 tweets
17 Mar
The Test & Trace budget for 2021/22 is £15bn.

There's no specific remit letter and whilst a new strategy is awaited (see @CommonsPAC report), the most recent T&T business plan from Dec 2020 covers four key priority areas.

Unpacking these.

For 'Team of Teams' - it's a lots of local gov led programmes: community testing, local contact tracing, support for self-isolation, and local outbreak management.
Read 11 tweets
11 Mar
This week's T&T report. Covers 25th Feb - 3rd March.

More LFDs - esp in secondary schools,
fewer cases,
more close contacts per case,
and fewer of them from the same household as the case.

Detail in 🧵

A pretty astonishing 3.13 million people tested in the week.

This is the most since T&T launched. Until next week's data.
This is because of the large scale roll-out of LFDs.

There were 2.76m used in week ending 3rd March, compared with 2.23 the week before, with 2/3 of the increase in use coming from secondary schools.

PCR use dropped slightly over the same period.
Read 18 tweets

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