Cookies with catchy songs, cheeses that suggest they will give you a trip to Disneyland Paris or at least stickers from a cartoon movie with a pull … Food products try to reach children on television, outdoor advertising or with ploys at the point of sale. They try to position themselves as more attractive, more striking and more seductive, in order to sneak into the shopping cart.Their market is children and they are the ones they are targeting, but are children too exposed to these messages and, above all, are these advertisements managing to have a negative effect on the lives of the little ones?Studies have been indicating that this is the case. Children see too many unhealthy food messages, receive them with interest, and are swayed by them. A British study a couple of years ago already warned: half of the ads that children see on television are for junk food. For junk food, do not think only of fast food chains. Products that are high in fat, sugar or salt also fall under this definition.Another study, this New Zealander, reinforced the idea and one from the University of Granada, which analyzed what had happened in recent years (2007 to 2013), also indicated that advertisements for unhealthy food were very present in our daily lives. a of children.Children’s schedule, untimely consumptionIn theory, children are protected by the mechanisms of the so-called children’s schedule, which limits what can be announced and how in the hours in which they are seated in front of the television. The problem is that children’s hours are very limited. Children receive advertising messages in many other ways and they do not limit the consumption of content to hours designed for children.You just have to think about the pull that certain reality shows have between the children’s audience and the hours at which those programs are broadcast. Advertising messages will not be limited by advertising hours for children.In fact, that was what the researchers responsible for a study carried out by experts from the Open University of Catalonia and Pompeu Fabra indicated on the issue, the results of which were presented last December. The kids were seeing ads for unhealthy food, so much so that those were the ads most watched by 4- to 12-year-olds.

“Several principles of the code are repeatedly violated and, in addition, it is not taken into Togo Email List account that the great consumption of advertising by minors occurs outside of protected hours,” explained then Mireia Montana, one of those responsible for the study. 80% of the Spanish children who watched TV then did so outside of protected hours.What the ads sellThe advertisements in question were selling fun and happiness. These products were seen as more fun and more desirable and became what the children wanted to consume.The latest study by the Ministry of Consumption on infant feeding, presented a few weeks ago, already warned that the quotas of childhood obesity had become alarming, especially in those households with lower incomes. The price of products, your marketing strategy and advertising are factors that affect this data.

Normative changeAnd that is why the latest government announcement, which is in line with other legislative actions being carried out in Europe, is not surprising . The UK, for example, announced its draft legislation this summer. The advertising of these products will be more strictly regulated.The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has announced that it will prohibit the advertising of unhealthy foods when it is directed at children under 15 years of age, expanding the norm that regulated these advertisements (and that prohibited them for children under 12 years of age). Expectations are that the ban will come into effect throughout 2021 (a decree is expected to be presented before the end of the year). The legislative change will also involve eliminating certain claims.

Ads may not feature celebrities or animated characters and may not be broadcast on television or in theaters.Will this measure be enough? After all, these rules already affect children’s time, but that has not prevented children from seeing these types of advertisements, as studies have shown. A little over a year ago, a journalist went to watch a children’s television day for El Comidista and her conclusions were clear: the ads continue to reach children selling products full of sugar and unhealthy.Norms for adults?Although children are the main target of this potential regulatory change, junk food is becoming the protagonist of awareness actions also for adults, which invites to wonder if the norm will be changed at some point in the future.

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