The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced regulations to manage the advertising and promotion of food that is inappropriate for children’s health.
Beginning next month, commercials advertising unhealthy food are to be prohibited from broadcasting on children’s channels between 5pm to 9pm, and unhealthy meals aimed at children be prohibited from offering free toys, based on the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation (食品安全衛生管理法), that was passed on Nov. 20 and is to be implemented on Jan. 1.
“Snacks, candies, beverages, frozen treats and fast-food” that contain “trans fats, saturated fats, sodium or added sugar” exceeding regulation standards will be targeted by the new regulation, the FDA said.
The regulation stipulates that trans fats should not exceed 30 percent of the total daily calorie intake, saturated fats should not exceed 10 percent the total daily calorie intake, sodium should not exceed 400mg per serving and added sugars should not exceed 10 percent the total daily calorie intake.
FDA official Chih Lan-hui (遲蘭慧) said the targeted food products are to be banned from “airing commercials between 5pm to 9pm on children’s channels” and “show signs of using these food to replace nutritious meals in their advertising.”
Advertising of food products considered unhealthy for children are allowed to be aired in time slots when children are less likely to be watching television or on other channels, such as news channels, less often watched by children alone, she said.
Chih said the regulated food products are no longer allowed to offer free toys, or use toys as rewards for attracting children.
Fast food chain McDonald’s has already changed its menu late last month in response to the regulations, and kids’ meals are now served with fruit or salad and juice or milk, instead of fries and soda, she said.
Violations of the act face a fine between NT$40,000 and NT$4 million, (US$1211 to US$121,193) the FDA said, adding it will ask health departments to supervise companies and increase inspections when the regulation comes into effect.
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