To combat youth obesity, Spain is looking to ban advertisements for unhealthy food and drinks such as chocolate, biscuits, and ice cream.
Consumer affairs minister Alberto Garzon disclosed that ads for five product classifications will be prohibited to minors. These items include chocolate, sweets, energy bars, cakes, sweet biscuits, juices, ice cream, and energy drinks. Other products that “exceed certain limits for saturated fats, sugars, and salt content” may also be banned according to a Reuters report.
Once it secures cabinet approval, promotional materials for individuals below 16 years old will be banned on television, radio, movie houses, and social media. “Our children are very vulnerable to advertising and it is our obligation to protect them,” said Garzon.
The Spanish Agency for Nutrition and Food Safety said that 40.6% of Spanish children aged from six to nine years old are overweight, while 17.3% of them are obese.
As per Reuters, the Spanish Federation of Food and Drink Industries, which has been in talks with the ministry to revise the country’s ethical practices in line with advertising, was “surprised and outraged” by the aforementioned development. “We believe that food and drink manufacturers are being gratuitously and unjustifiably attacked,” said the sector’s director-general Mauricio Garcia de Quevedo.