A group of 11 to 19-year-olds from schools in Peterborough has launched a petition to restrict the advertisement of foods high in fats, salts and sugars (HFSS) on Peterborough City Council-owned advertising spaces and land.

Led by members of Peterborough Youth Council, the ‘community food champions’ campaign, was inspired by others, including TfL’s 2019 HFSS advertising ban and BiteBack2030’s “Bombarded by junk food: Our story” collection.

The group hope the restriction of junk food advertising in the city will increase the visibility of healthier options provided by local businesses and inspire other young people to advocate for change.

Peterborough Youth Council is a city-wide youth voice group that campaigns on issues important to young people whilst helping Peterborough City Council and local organisations to ensure young people have a say on decisions that affect them.

The group includes two youth council members from each secondary school or college in Peterborough as well as extra membership spaces for those not in full-time education.

Zubaria S, Peterborough Youth Council representative, said: “I believe reducing the amount of junk food advertisement is important as it impacts our health because we aren't in complete control of our choices due to the subconscious effects of advertising.

“I hope, through this campaign, we can reduce the amount of junk food advertising alongside increasing the awareness of the healthier options, allowing us (the youth) to choose that which is better for us without being indirectly influenced not to.”

Eva Woods, community food champions supporter and member of Youth Parliament for Peterborough, said: “Junk food advertising in Peterborough is evidently geared towards young people, with low prices, catchy slogans and bright colours.

“It makes sense to draw in young customers this way, which is why the local authority should do everything it can to prevent the use of these tactics on its own turf.

“It’s hypocritical to promote healthy outcomes for young people whilst facilitating advertising campaigns that erode this, and we as Peterborough Youth Council want to raise the profile of this issue and secure the city council’s legislative support.”

Sign the petition, which runs until July 22, here.