The Ministry of Consumption will ban advertisements from unhealthy foods for children under 15 years of age, which will increase this prohibition in three years, in order to reduce the prevalence of obesity and overweight and their consequences, both in the field of public health and its social repercussions.
As sources of Consumption have told Efe, this will be one of the main keys to the reform of the so-called “PAOS Code”, a code for regulating the advertising of food and beverages aimed at minors.
In this way, the ministry that leads Alberto Garzón aims to increase the age of protection that right now it is established up to 12 years by limiting the advertising of foods to those with the most favorable codes for health, the Nutri-Score codes A and B.
Nutri-Score is a badge that informs about the nutritional quality of foods and that is colloquially attributed the name of “traffic light” because it classifies them in five colors that progressively evolve from green (healthier) to red (less healthy) .
These colors are associated with five letters (A / B / C / D / E) that make the code easier to read.
Consumption intends to prohibit the participation of famous people and animated characters in these commercial spaces, both on television and in movie theaters, according to the same sources.
Alberto Garzón already advanced on September 30 the results of the study “Aladino 2019”, which concludes that childhood obesity is a serious socioeconomic problem and throws some “alarming” figures regarding the poor nutrition of children in Spain.
A study that indicates that the prevalence of overweight in the child population aged 6 and 9 is 23.3%, and that of obesity is 17.3%, according to the WHO weight situation standards. In total, four out of ten schoolchildren are overweight.
Already at the end of June, during his speech in the Senate, the minister emphasized the consensus that exists among nutrition experts and specialists on the fact that the system is not working properly because advertising on infant food has little control.
He also announced that the Ministry is working to present at the end of the year a royal decree-law that allows the implementation in 2021 of the Nutri-Score labeling system that will facilitate, through this color code, the rapid interpretation of the nutritional quality of the product to be acquired.
The Food Safety and Nutrition Law of 2011, which creates this self-control system, establishes that the advertising regulation measures are voluntarily agreed by the food industry.
But if the agreement is not achieved, Article 46 of that rule also allows the Government to establish by regulation the rules that regulate such commercial communications.