Too many children are obese: Consumer affairs ministers want to ban advertising for fat women – Economy

Consumer protection ministers in federal states have called for a ban on advertising of unhealthy foods aimed at children and young adults. The head of the Schleswig-Holstein district, Klaus Christian Clausen, called on the federal government to implement this quickly. This could help fight obesity, Clausen said Friday after the two-day ministerial conference in Weimar, which Thuringia chaired.

Cem Ozdemir believes that states have an obligation

Federal Food Minister Cem Ozdemir (The Greens) explained that the federal states support the coalition’s plan to further restrict advertising of foods high in sugar, fat or salt to children. “Food preferences are largely formed in childhood,” Ozdemir said. “Advertising has a significant and, above all, long-term impact, especially on those under the age of 14, therefore, regulating advertising directed to children is an important starting point for avoiding nutrition-related diseases.”

Federal Food Minister Cem Ozdemir sees states as having an obligation.Photo: IMAGO / photothek

However, the Minister of Food played the ball to the federal states. Federal states have a special responsibility when it comes to media regulation. Accordingly, the Federal Government will share information in coordination with the broadcaster.

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The consumer organization Foodwatch sees it differently. She referred to a report in which she requested that Özdemir impose blanket restrictions on advertising as a federal law. Getting around the state media treaty is not necessary.

Doctors have always called for restrictions

Professional organizations and medical societies have called for restrictions on fast food advertising for years, including the German Alliance for Non-Communicable Diseases (DANK), of which many organizations are represented. Federal state consumer protection ministers recommend red-labeling sweet, savory and fatty snacks. This step has been long overdue.” Barbara Bitzer, spokeswoman for the DANK Science Alliance and Director General of the German Diabetes Association (DDG). “The waiting time is over. The traffic light government must now finally follow through on its coalition agreement advertising and recommendation for federal states to act and stop advertising for junk food.”

Serious: If children are overweight, the risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease increases.Photo: Photo Alliance / dpa / Ralph Hirschberger

Corona exacerbated the problem

The results of a recent DAG survey of parents showed how important comprehensive advertising restrictions on unhealthy things are for children’s health, Bitzer emphasized: According to this, every sixth child has become fatter during the Corona epidemic, a quarter of them ate more sweets than before and almost half exercised less. In cooperation with the Federal Association of Consumer Centers (VZBV) and the Federal Association AOK, DANK already developed a concrete proposal for blanket advertising restrictions on unhealthy foods in February. Organizations are calling for influencer ads to be banned entirely. In addition, there should be a ban on advertising unhealthy things between 6am and 11pm on television, live broadcasts and radio. There should be a 100 meter ban on advertising posters around day care centers, schools and playgrounds.

The SPD, the Greens, and the Freedom and Democracy Party wrote in their coalition agreement that they want to restrict advertising of unhealthy products aimed at children. There is no bill yet.

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This is what the food industry says

The food industry views the development “with concern” and accuses the government of “wanting to educate people in Germany”. There is no causal relationship between watching food ads and obesity. It would make sense to encourage people to lead a healthy lifestyle. This includes education and enlightenment from an early age, so that even the youngest learn what is part of a balanced diet and how to deal with advertising, the global food industry organization emphasized on Friday. (with dpa)

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