Government bans junk food advertisements on cartoon channels
In a major decision by NDA government, Government banned cola products and junk food advertisements on cartoon channels in a bid to promote healthy eating among children as per TV reports. Depending on how 'junk food' is defined, the move could have a major impact on the revenues of children's television channels such as Pogo, Nickelodeon and so on.
Nine major food business operators have decided not to advertise products with high fat, salt or sugar on children's channels.
Earlier in the day, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore informed the Lok Sabha during Question Hour that bodies like the Food and Beverage Alliance of India (FBIA) have already decided to voluntarily restrict food and beverage advertisements concerning children. On whether the government proposes to impose a ban on telecast of junk food and cold/soft drinks advertisements on television, Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani said in a written reply that "presently there is no such proposal".
In December 2017, the government had strictly asked TV channels not to air ads selling and promoting condoms calling them "indecent especially for children". The government further reasoned that such ads can create "unhealthy practices" among them.
Childhood obesity is a rising problem, especially in areas of India that were prone to frequent famines in the old days.