Companies active in the food sector will soon find it harder to
promote their products when targeting children or young people. We
have recently seen serious concerns spreading across Europe about
nutritional disorder and obesity problems, especially among young
people, frequently in relation to excessive consumption of junk
food. Italy, the home country of the 'Mediterranean diet,'
had to acknowledge that one out of four of its young people faces
nutritional and weight problems.
In order to address what already has transformed into a
'national issue' Government and local administrations have
started an initiative aimed at making certain types of food –
such as soft drinks and snacks – less accessible to children.
At the end of October 2014 the State Department of Health and the
Councilors for Agriculture of the Regions, i.e. administrative
districts with subsidiary legislative and regulatory competence
(think of the 'States' in the US or of the
'Laender' in Germany), have undersigned a memorandum of
understanding in order to favor healthier nutritional habits among
young people. The protocol which the signing authorities have
agreed on intends to strictly ban - in all places or venues
publicly accessible - vending machines offering soft drinks
(regardless if carbonated or containing sweeteners or nitrate
additives) and snacks high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned. In
such locations (and especially in schools) new machines should be
made available, offering healthier food such as yogurt, fresh
fruit, and sandwiches with genuine, high quality filling.
Advertisers will have to take these additional restrictions into
account when conceiving their marketing strategies.
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