In contrast to the claims made by consumer groups such as Which?, FDF's director of communications Julian Hunt said that research published by Ofcom, the UK's broadcasting watchdog this week, showed that consumers have major concerns about such a move.
"The majority of participants in Ofcoms focus groups feel this would impact on adult viewing too much and want a more moderate approach," said Hunt.
Ofcom commissioned research from Opinion Leader Research (OLR) to assess consumer responses to Ofcom's consultation proposals that set out potential new restrictions on advertising of food and drink products to children.
The report said that while the idea of a pre-watershed ban was raised spontaneously in most sessions, participants did not consider the option fully as the evidence was not provided to them.
"It is therefore not possible to detail exact responses," said the report. "The majority of participants did however feel that this would impact adult viewing too much and want Ofcom to adopt a more moderate response."
Which? however disagrees with the FDF's assessment of the report, and is demanding action. Along with 23 other organisations, it has written to Ofcom demanding the introduction of a 9pm watershed.
"Advertising has a proven effect on children's food choices," said Which? chief policy adviser Sue Davies.
"Irresponsible advertising on TV is an uninvited guest in our homes, contributing to the growing national obesity crisis. Without effective action from Ofcom, all efforts to improve the diet and health of children will be undermined."
The Ofcom report did go on to say that there was "clear support for a ban on HFSS (high fat, sugar or salt) TV advertising to pre-school children because people recognise that they are the most vulnerable audience".
The debate over the effect of food advertising on children's health has been hotly debated for years. Against a background of increasing concern about growing childhood obesity, the government asked Ofcom to research the contribution of television advertising of food and drink to children to the problem.
In 2004, Ofcom reported back on an extensive body of research which demonstrates that television advertising has a modest direct effect, as well as a larger indirect effect, on childrens food and drink preferences.
The government also asked Ofcom to consider whether to tighten the rules on advertising food and drink to children. Given the evidence, Ofcom concluded that there was a case for strengthening the rules for the advertising of food and drink to children on television.
As a result, Ofcom developed three potential regulatory packages, each incorporating ways to reduce the number of food and drink advertisements children see. The three regulatory packages were:
Package 1 Timing restrictions targeting foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) using nutrient profiling
Package 2 Timing restrictions on all food and drink products
Package 3 Volume-based restrictions on all food and drink products
A fourth option - an invitation to interested parties to develop an acceptable alternative which met core objectives - was also included.
Ofcom is due to make a final decision this autumn on television advertising restrictions to children. The debate is likely to continue until a decision is made.
"The food and advertising industries' proposals put forward to Ofcom this summer share the governments commitment to focus on young children and advertisements shown during their programme times," said Hunt.
"Our package will mean no more cartoon characters like Scooby Doo or celebrities such as pop bands like The Spice Girls being used in ads directly targeted at children. It will also mean the end of these ads featuring the latest movie characters or collectible gifts. "
Which? continues to insist that such measures are not enough.
"Sadly it is only the broadcast and advertising industries who continue to oppose a 9pm watershed," said Davies. "We urge Ofcom to put children's health before profit.
"Ofcom must now respond to public demand and introduce a 9pm watershed."