UKHospitality (UKH) has given this warning following the launching on a consultation about restricting food advertising by the Government.
The consultation is asking the public for its views on ways to reduce the number of adverts for foods high in fat, sugar and salt that children are exposed to.
It sets out proposals to tighten advertising restrictions. The restrictions aim to limit children’s exposure across the media they engage with most, as part of efforts to tackle childhood obesity.
The restrictions being considered include a 9pm watershed ban on TV, online streaming sites and social media.
UKH chief executive Kate Nicholls highlighted the work the hospitality sector has done to help tackle obesity.
She said: “Hospitality shares the Government’s objectives and public concerns about nurturing healthier attitudes to food and drink.
“The sector has worked proactively with local authorities and Westminster to help tackle obesity. Many of our members have spent time and money reformulating menus, diversifying their offer and providing nutritional transparency."
Nicholls said: “The sector’s landscape changes quickly and the customer experience is hugely different to the one it was five or 10 years ago, with a greater choice of exciting and healthy food and drink.
“Furthermore, for the vast majority of our customers, eating out remains an occasional treat and any measures should reflect that.”
Nicholls also highlighted how a headwind of issues for the hospitality sector has hit the market hard and why they are so important to communities.
She added: “British high streets have been hit hard in recent years by a mix of rising costs and changing consumer trends and, of course, Brexit uncertainties.
“Hospitality venues are vital to the social lives of towns and cities and provide huge economic benefits. Preventing them from advertising would undermine high streets further.”