Pepsico has imposed advertising restrictions on itself in response to growing concerns from health bodies in the Western World over obesity amongst children.

Speaking to the UK's Financial Times, a company executive said PepsiCo had decided to no longer continue advertising its flagship cola brand to children under 12.

The FT reported that the policy has been in place for several months but the company decided against announcing it publicly.

"Our intent is not to just beat our chests and try to take credit for what we're doing," said Irene Rosenfeld, the chief executive of Frito-Lay North America, PepsiCo's snacks unit. "We're just quietly doing it because it's the right thing to do."

Company CEO Steve Reinemund rejected calls for a blanket ban on advertising to children. He said that that removed a channel through which soft drink companies could be part of the solution to obesity.