In light of the recent spike in obesity in children around the world, certain countries have started proposals to ban junk food advertisements on television. The most notable being the UK. However, here in the subcontinent, the government put those rumors to bed, clarifying there was no proposal at present to ban advertisements of junk food on television.
Voluntary Restriction of Junk Food Advertisements
Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore told the Parliament that bodies like the Food and Beverage Alliance of India have already decided to voluntarily restrict food and beverage advertisements concerning children.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani said that “presently there is no such proposal”. Nine major food business operators have decided not to advertise products with high fat, salt or sugar on children’s channels, the Minister said.
While other ministers had voiced concerns about junk food affecting the health of children. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India had constituted an expert group to address the issue of high fat, sugar and salt foods.
“The expert group in its report made a recommendation regarding ban on food with high fat, sugar and salt advertising on children’s channels or during children shows. On this recommendation, the remarks of the FSSAI were that the food businesses could be asked to voluntarily desist from advertising high fat, sugar and salt foods on children’s channels,” Irani said.