The World: Washington - Calls for increase in healthy foods ads on TV

Deborah Tate, the US Federal Communications Commissioner, wants healthy foods such as celery and carrots to get equal TV airtime with chocolate bars and doughnuts in order to combat the country's child obesity epidemic.

She told the first meeting of a joint FCC and US Senate task force that her wishlist of policy changes would include balancing the dietary habits actors project during programmes and the ads that pay for them.

She said: "There should be the same number of ads for healthy foods as for unhealthy foods. The storyline should include healthful messages and activities. There should be balance."

The task force includes representatives of media companies, healthcare concerns and the food and drink industries.