The Ministry of Consumption has announced this Thursday a new normative project by which it will prohibit the advertising of unhealthy foods and beverages, such as cookies, juices or ice cream, aimed at children and adolescents.
Minister Alberto Garzón reported today on a measure in which the department he directs has been working for a few months. The key is in the reform of the PAOS code that regulates the advertising of products aimed at minors. Law 17/2011, on Food Safety and Nutrition -based on the self-control of the advertising companies- establishes the maximum age of child protection at 12 years, although the Ministry plans to raise it to 15 years.
According to Garzón, the self-regulation system that has been in force since 2005 has proven “insufficient”, as shown by the data on overweight and obesity that affect Spanish children and of which advertising is one of the causes, has indicated the minister at a press conference with the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau.
Five categories in the spotlight
The novelty is that the new law will not be regulated through Nutriscore but through the nutritional profiles established by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The future standard will put the target in five categories: chocolate and sugar confectionery products, energy bars and sweet toppings and desserts, cakes, sweet cookies and other pastry products, juices, energy drinks and ice cream.
For the rest of the product categories, a limit of nutrient content will be established for every 100 grams . In this case, they may be announced as long as total and saturated fats, total and added sugar and salt levels are kept below the limits established for each product.
As was the case with the decree on gambling advertising, the future regulations that will affect the hours of enhanced protection and the advertising spaces for programs aimed at children. It will also regulate both linear and non-linear television, radio content, movie theaters and advertising on the internet, social networks, websites or mobile apps, when the content is aimed at children under 16 years of age. Limitations on print media advertising will also be included.
Along the same lines, the Barcelona City Council will regulate, through two municipal instructions, the presence of advertising of food and beverages harmful to health in public spaces and will also reinforce the presence of healthy products in the food services present in public facilities.