Sat, Oct 27, 2012 - Page 11 News List

DOH mulls legislation to reduce junk food ads
垃圾食品廣告多 衛署擬修法規範

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alicia Wang, second from right, Child Welfare League Foundation research and development director Chiu Ching-hui, right, and parents and their children attend a press conference in Taipei on Oct. 2, calling for restrictions on junk-food ads.
立委王育敏(右二)、兒福聯盟研發處組長邱靖惠(右)與親子代表十月二日於台北召開記者會,呼籲管制垃圾食品廣告。

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者簡榮豐

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alicia Wang is pushing for the establishment of a national nutrition law, which would place certain restrictions on junk food ads and marketing methods, hopefully keeping children from being exposed to excessive amounts of junk food. During a question and answer session in the legislature on Oct. 18, Department of Health (DOH) Minister Chiu Wen-ta said that he agrees with Wang, adding that the DOH has already begun drafting legislation with new regulations.

Wang says that one in every four children or teenagers in Taiwan is overweight, and that when going from elementary school to junior high school, the problem gradually worsens as children get older. Chiu also said that from a global perspective the number of obese kids in Taiwan is average, but warns that obesity among children in Taiwan is actually the worst in all of Asia, adding that the problem involves genetic factors, the level of physical activity and lifestyle.

Wang says that the average child in Taiwan sees more than 8,000 ads for junk food annually, or an average of one ad every 6.6 minutes. With such a vast number of ads stimulating children, it significantly increases their desire to buy junk food, so the government needs to come up with policies restricting the ads, she says.

Chiu says that the DOH has already proposed legislation for a national nutrition law, which will hopefully help foster healthier dietary habits in people. The fourth article of the proposed law deals directly with the issue of junk food and how to prevent and restrict the amount of junk food ads being broadcast.

Which foods are considered junk foods? Wu Hsi-wen, a section chief at the administration, says that many nations lack clear definitions of what junk foods are, but says foods contributing to obesity and chronic diseases, along with fatty, salty and sugary foods and drinks should all be considered “junk.” At present, drafted legislation for the national nutrition law and proposed amendments to the Act Governing Food Sanitation have very broad definitions of junk foods, saying they are “foods that cause chronic diseases or foods that are not suitable for children to eat for an extended period of time.” Still, the answer to the question is not currently being discussed, but will hopefully eventually be included in future legislation after the law is passed.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. marketing n.

行銷 (xing2 xiao1)

例: The general manager would like to increase the budget for marketing in the next quarter.

(總經理想在下季增加行銷的預算。)

2. overweight adj.

過重的 (guo4 zhong4 de5)

例: Adults make up about two-thirds of all overweight or obese Americans.

(美國過重或肥胖的人口,成年人約佔三分之二。)

3. obese adj.

肥胖的 (fei2 pang4 de5)

例: Obese children are more likely to have diabetes and heart disease later in life.

(肥胖小孩長大後,患糖尿病與心臟疾病的機率較高。)


(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

國民黨立委王育敏主張制定「國民營養法」,管制垃圾食品廣告與行銷方式,避免兒童接觸垃圾食物,衛生署長邱文達十月十八日在立法院答詢表示贊同,並指衛生署已研提草案規範。

王育敏表示,台灣的兒童與少年,每四個人就有一個過重,且從國小到國中,隨年齡成長,愈來愈嚴重。邱文達亦呼應說,台灣兒少肥胖程度在全世界來說算是「中度」,但在亞洲地區比較則算「嚴重」,且高居第一名,包括基因、活動量、生活習慣都有關係。

王育敏指出,台灣兒童平均一年要看超過八千個垃圾食物廣告,平均每六.六分鐘就會出現一次,很容易在大量垃圾食物廣告刺激下,引發購買慾望,政府應該拿出政策規範。

邱文達表示,衛生署已提出「國民營養法草案」,希望能讓國民有更健康的飲食習慣,草案第四章討論垃圾食物,以及如何預防、限制垃圾食物廣告播放時間。

什麼食物算是垃圾食物呢?衛生署科長吳希文表示,世界各國並沒有明確定義,不過,導致肥胖、慢性病,與高油、高鹽、高糖的飲食都算,目前國民營養法草案與食品衛生管理法修正草案,是以「易導致慢性病或不適合兒童長期食用之食品」做概況定義。到底哪些食品屬垃圾食物?將在母法通過後,訂在子法中,現在還沒討論。

(自由時報記者施曉光、鍾麗華、楊雅民、黃以敬)

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