The consumer protection ministers of the federal states have called for a ban on advertising for unhealthy foods aimed at children and young people. The head of department of Schleswig-Holstein, Claus Christian Claussen, called on the federal government to implement this quickly. This could help to combat obesity, Claussen said on Friday after the two-day ministerial conference in Weimar, which was chaired by Thuringia.
Federal Food Minister Cem Özdemir (Greens) explained that the federal states are supporting the government coalition’s plan to further restrict advertising of foods with a high sugar, fat or salt content to children. “Nutritional preferences are shaped to a large extent in childhood,” said Özdemir. “Advertising has a significant and, above all, long-term influence, especially on those under the age of 14. Therefore, the regulation of advertising directed at children is an important starting point in order to avoid nutrition-related diseases.”
However, the Minister of Food played the ball back to the federal states. The federal states have a special responsibility when it comes to media regulation. The federal government will therefore exchange information with the coordination of the broadcasting commission.
The consumer organization Foodwatch sees it differently. She pointed to a report she had commissioned, according to which Özdemir could introduce comprehensive advertising restrictions as a federal law. A detour via the media state treaty is not necessary.
The results of a DAG parent survey recently showed how decisive comprehensive advertising restrictions for unhealthy things are for children’s health, Bitzer emphasized: According to this, every sixth child became fatter during the corona pandemic, a quarter eats more sweets than before and almost half exercise fewer. Together with the Federal Association of Consumer Centers (VZBV) and the AOK Federal Association, DANK had already developed a concrete proposal for comprehensive advertising restrictions for unhealthy food in February. The organizations are demanding that influencer advertising for unhealthy things should be completely banned. In addition, there should be a ban on advertising for unhealthy things between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. for TV, streaming and radio. There should be a 100-metre ban mile for poster advertising around daycare centers, schools and playgrounds.
The SPD, Greens and FDP have written in their coalition agreement that they want to restrict advertising for unhealthy products aimed at children. There is no draft law yet.