With childhood obesity becoming a massive problem in India, FSSAI has proposed a ban on all advertisements of products with high fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) aimed at children. While this will certainly be a blow to companies, it may help to reduce demand for unhealthy products.
“HFSS food products shall not be advertised to children in any form,” the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India said in a notice inviting comments, views and suggestions to its draft regulations. However, the draft did not provide precise information on how the advertising curbs should be enforced.
“Potato chips, colas, ready-to-eat food and pickle are hugely advertised products which fall in the category of high fat, sugar and salt. However, these are items of general consumption, so how do we ensure that children are excluded from viewing those ads?” asked Sagar Kurade, a representative of the All India Food Processors’ Association.
The Food and Beverage Alliance of India, which includes companies such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestle, Kellogg, Mars Chocolate, Hindustan Unilever and Mondelez, have already chosen to restrict food and beverage advertisements aimed at children which has led to a decrease in revenue for children’s channels.