There is a "very strong argument" for banning adverts for junk food before the TV watershed, the Scottish Health Secretary said.

Shona Robison said ministers at Holyrood had been calling for "some years" for adverts for unhealthy food and drink to only be allowed to be shown after 9pm, when young children are less likely to be watching television.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health wants junk food adverts to be taken off the screens before 9pm.

Dr Adrian Crofton told a fringe meeting at the SNP conference in Aberdeen: "Advertising is a big issue. Children at this age, they cannot differentiate between advertising and news, to them it's all true."

Dr Crofton, a GP in the city, added: "The current legislation really covers advertising of junk food on children's TV, but children still see far more advertising in the rest of their viewing time.

"So what the college proposes is a ban on advertising junk food before the 9pm watershed."

Ms Robison said: "On the junk food watershed we've been calling for that for some years. Maureen Watt, the public health minister, has just written again to the UK Government saying this would be a good time to look again at the watershed issue.

"As the mum of a 12-year-old daughter I know the power of pester power, things that are continually advertised do filter through into I want in the supermarket and brand awareness. I think there is a very strong argument for that."