National Association Reports
    Food advertising in prime-times for children: the French Association of Nutritionist Dietitians (AFDN) with 21 medical societies of experts and specialists move to regulate!
    Vol. 17 Issue 2
    Country: France
    Obesity has doubled in 20 years in the industrial nations. 17 % of the adults and 3 to 4 % of the children in France are obese.

    As measures for a national plan to fight obesity are going to be announced by the President of the Republic, 22 societies of medical experts and specialists including the French Association of Nutritionist Dietitians (AFDN) drafted a press release asking that the food advertising in prime-time television for children should be regulated.
    This communiqué is a reminder of the charter that France as well as most of the European countries had signed in 2006, on fighting obesity.

    This charter stipulates "that the impact on the objectives of public health should be a priority consideration during the elaboration of the economic policies" and "that the measures have to be articulated around the main concerned domain of activity, for example production, marketing and information on products, ......".

    Mrs Kelly, member of High Council of Media sector and journalist of Le Monde (first French newspaper) on 17 February 2010 said “If the abolition of food advertising during children’s programs is an effective instrument to fight obesity, its economic consequences would on the other hand impact our sub-financed media sector".

    This however is not the scientists’ point of view.

    A report (1) by the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF), structure in charge of policies of the International Association for the study of Obesity, consisting of 10000 scientists and obesity specialists from 55 countries, underlines that the great majority of food advertisements presented during programs for children, encourages the consumption of high density energy food and drinks.

    These foods are reprehensible on no account in themselves but their excessive consumption can eventually raise health problems.

    AFDN and the scientific societies support this report by specifying that the regulation of advertising in prime-times for children is a measure of coherence with multiple actions to facilitate good eating habits and hygiene of life favorable to health and to reduce behavior towards nutritional risk.

    The aim is to prevent the promotion of food which can contribute to an excess consumption of sugar, or fat or salt. This is a recommendation of public health known in all the countries of the world and believed in France by the PNNS (2).

    AFDN stresses upon being active in fighting obesity and so joined this press release.

    (1) The challenge of obesity in the WHO European region and the strategies for response : summary. F. Branca,H.Nikogosian and T. Lobstein, 2006
    (2) Plan National Nutrition Santé: National Health Nutrition Plan