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Taiwan bans junk food advertisements to protect children
The country’s new anti-obesity regulations ban commercials advertising junk food and prohibit unhealthy meals aimed at children from offering free toys.
Beginning on 1st January 2016 Tawain bans TV commercials advertising unhealthy food, inappropriate for children. From 5 to 9 p.m. every day no more spots advertising junk food, snacks rich in fats and sugars, sweet drinks or sodas but even all those food products attracting kids with free toys are aired on TV channels. This is a widespread marketing strategy in fast-food chains, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
“Snacks, candies, beverages, frozen treats and fast-food that contain trans fats, saturated fats, sodium or added sugar exceeding regulation standards will be targeted by the new regulation”, the FDA said in a note. The restriction is limited to the channels targeted to children, not to the other channels, such as news channels.
Taiwan is facing a period when childhood obesity represents a major issue: an international team found that among the 59 countries analysed, Taiwan ranked 16th in terms of obesity with 27% of the students being overweight. A survey of the Child Welfare League Foundation revealed that children saw an average of over 8,000 junk food ads yearly, with interruptions every six minutes during the most popular cartoons. In addition, the frequency of such commercials during meal times is 1.6 times higher than in any other moment.
Consumers can complain about any violation of the current regulations by calling the free-phone number 1919. Perpetrators will be sanctioned with fines ranging from 1,000 to 11 thousand euro.
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